Perception Is Reality

Shamu’s Reincarnation

Posted on: March 2, 2010

The SeaWorld crisis has been upon us for several days now. In an article in the Orlando Sentinel, Beth Kassab spoke of the risks corporations face in using social media. It is no surprise that there have been many issues with twitter in particular, most recently and notably, the @HJ_Heinz case.

I went to the SeaWorld Blogs website, and saw this very well done video:

I sent an email following this to Kassab, sharing my two cents which I would like to share with the rest of Twitter.

The Direct Cinema/Verite Approach

The video had an authentic, home-made tribute feel to it. It also reminded the audience that the majestic whales are, after all, family.

Closure, Closure, Closure

What they could’ve done better is provide details on the safety lapse: it is not sufficient to acknowledge that a problem exists, but to identify it (without risking reputation), and provide closure. This is, I believe, a better way of managing the post-crisis.

A Whale for a Human Leaves SeaWorld Sad

A death shouldn’t be compensated with another death. In this case, @Shamu shouldn’t die after Dawn, which I believe adds more to the grief, even if it is temporary. This could’ve been turned around in a clever way, by having Shamu speak on behalf of his school of whales. This, of course, could tilt either way, and it would have to be a very carefully crafted message.

What is one good thing and one thing to be improved upon  for the crisis, and post-crisis communication on part of SeaWorld PR?

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About the Author…

Born in Karachi, Pakistan in an Adventist hospital, I grew up in a city where on one side I experienced poverty and oppression, while on the other I had the good fortune of Tabish Bhimani being a member of an upper middle-class business family...more...

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