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November 3, 2014
Sadly, Sir Richard’s an Exemplar of Crisis PR
 
Sir Richard Branson has much grander aims, but it’s fitting to note that he’s been acting as a model of crisis communication in the test-flight crash of his rocket, SpaceShipTwo.

“What you do and say in the hours immediately after an incident set the tone by which an organization will be judged,” crisis PR specialist Jonathan Hemus, of Insignia Communications, is quoted on TheDrum. “In common with Virgin’s response to a fatal train crash in Cumbria in 2007, Richard Branson’s first words and actions strike just the right note, not least in his decision to immediately fly to the scene.” 

Branson’s first remarks on Friday’s crash in California’s Mojave Desert came on Twitter and then, that evening, in a longer post on the Virgin Galactic blog.

Branson’s expressions of sympathy to the families of the two pilots involved in the crash along with his pledge of full support to its investigation show a decent human being being behind a problematic dream of space tourism.  

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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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