LAX Airport Shooting – Crisis Communication Case Study Real Time

A shooting at the LAX Airport has the media scrambling to tell the story. The media are speculating with little or no official information. More than 90 minutes into the event I’ve not seen a spokesperson on CNN from the LAPD or from the LAX Airport.

From a crisis communication standpoint in the world of public relations, media relations and crisis communications we are watching bad PR unfold in real time. I encourage you to follow along with me.

Monitor CNN, LAX Facebook, LAX Twitter, the official LAX website, the LAPD website and the TSA website. As I monitor this story, a joint news conference has just started two hours and thirty minutes into this crisis. In 2013, that is too long of a time.

Watch my quick video and image that if you were a PR person in a crisis, you could shoot a post a short video with a first critical statement added as you will see at the end of this video.

Braud LAX Shooting














The LAX Twitter page is the only source of official information.

Twitter LAX














The LAX website has no news.

LAX website









The LAX Facebook page has a pumpkin from Halloween yesterday.

LAX Facebook










The LAPD website has no news.












The TSA website has no news.













In a crisis, every organization must have a well written crisis communication plan that would sort out all of this on a clear sunny day so that communications can happen in one hour or less of the onset of a crisis. This is Public Relations failure in action.

Here it is in the nation’s second largest media market and the media are left to speculate and do phone calls with eyewitnesses.

Likely, right now, in a room somewhere, executives are managing the crisis and are too busy to approve a news release. The PR team is likely working from scratch to get the news release written and executives are trying to rewrite it. Meanwhile, a pre-written news release for this event should have been written years ago and put in a pre-written news release file.

Somedays I wonder when the PR profession will “get it.” This is one more example that they don’t.

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