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August 27, 2015
Napping in Napa: When Will They Ever Learn?
 
Well, it looks as though the Napa Valley Wine Train has joined the esteemed list of learners about the importance of crisis management and communication. Except, apparently, that the wine train didn’t have a real crisis, only a fancied one.

Yet it had the 11 ladies of the Sistahs of the Reading Edge book club, one of them "85 with mobility challenges,” met by police and ushered off the train because they’d been talking too loud.

The wine train’s management is now tripping all over itself in apologizing to the group. Yet the preparedness lessons of the incident are clear: For one, “A group of 11 people — unless they are monks on a silent meditation — are going to make noise. The book club informed the wine train staff that they were going to be a large group. It was the company’s responsibility, as the CEO netted in his apology, to seat the women where they could be free to enjoy themselves.”

And so forth. How can grown people in authority go so wrong as the Wine Train’s management evidently did? And why isn’t a course in crisis management  and communication required of all executive bodies serving the public?

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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