CANADA PLACE - Crisis Communications
A construction worker on the property of Canada Place Corporation had a significant fall while working on the facility’s roof renovation project at 7:50 in the morning. In less than one hour, local reporters were tweeting about the crisis, and publishing articles online as they received information. Some information was factual and authoritative, but some was not. Before the business day had begun, Canada Place was facing the challenge of first correcting misinformation about the event, and then communicating the facts in a manner that maintained the trust and support of their employees and stakeholders.
Reputations tested Canada Place Corporation’s crisis communications plan through a table top exercise prior to the renovation start date, and had made provisions for incidents like this one. The plan allowed Reputations and Canada Place’s communications team to begin work right away, drafting the key messages for their primary spokespeople and media materials. To handle the high volume of media requests, a press briefing was organized and held outside of the facility before noon. Reputations’ media team distributed a correct and up-to-date statement on the incident to local and national media before 2:00 p.m. on Day One of the crisis, and conducted media monitoring in the week that followed.
The crisis was reported across the country by evening television news as well as print media and online media the following day. All but two articles were correctly reported, and included Canada Place Corporation’s key messages. The two articles which printed the original misinformation appeared in east coast publications, and printed retractions within the week. Canada Place was able to successfully protect its reputation through the crisis by responding quickly, accurately and compassionately to the incident.