The Situation: Solid crisis management and risk assessment are crucial, so when crises do occur, your team is ready to go with the right crisis response strategies, crisis plans and media training skills. A pipeline group faced a devastating failure on one of its major transmission lines. The incident left more than 1500 people homeless when nine apartment buildings burned to the ground during the middle of a cold, March night. The fireball was so large that it could be seen in other neighboring states. In addition, natural gas customers across the Northeast were left without heat during a period of frigid temperatures. For many years, our firm had trained hundreds of the pipeline’s people from the Gulf Coast to the Northeast in crisis communication, spokesperson and stakeholder relations’ skills. The pipeline group also called on Benchmark to provide crisis consulting and crisis training behind the scenes during this crisis incident.
The Results: Some six weeks after the incident, the New York Times wrote a glowing editorial saying the company’s response was one of the best they had witnessed in the history of such catastrophic events. The pipeline company’s communication group won many awards from prestigious organizations for its crisis response and their leaders were asked to speak at numerous events to share their lessons and crisis response expertise. Company leaders often credited Benchmark’s crisis communications strategies and training as an important contribution to their success.