27th June 2021
25th July 2012 - If you’re gonna book it, don’t Thomas Cook it
To many people outside our profession, practising PR is just a simple routine process of writing press releases, issuing company statements and making a few phone calls.
If only it were that simple.
Take, for example, the case of troubled holiday business Thomas Cook, which is currently in the throes of another major PR crisis after hundreds of customers bought Olympic tickets from the company that subsequently never arrived.
Following unforeseen courier problems, the travel group is feeling the full force of a social media backlash from customers who will now have to rearrange their Olympic plans and collect their tickets from the operator personally from designated outlets scattered throughout the capital.
Some travellers will have no choice but to book an extra night’s overnight accommodation in order to ensure that they have sufficient time to both collect their tickets and get to the Olympic events on time.
Many others have expressed their concern that the logistics of queuing up for hours on end to get their tickets, making their way across London to reach their destination and then passing through venue security means that they could end up missing their event altogether.
Now when a business such as Thomas Cook gets itself into such a mess, in full glare of the public eye, then as you’d expect their PR operation will swing into action and start addressing customer concerns through a series of public statements, press releases and social media updates.
But perhaps what you wouldn’t expect is that most public relations teams will also be doing their very best to help coordinate efforts to minimise the impact of the disruption in the first place.
As any savvy public relations practitioner will tell you, prevention is better than a cure and that helping a client to minimise the damage at an operational level is worth considerably more than leaving them to their own devices and relying only on words to dig them out of their PR hole.
So what we’re saying is that you can be pretty sure that the PR people at Thomas Cook won’t be sitting around thinking up excuses and new ways to apologise.
Instead they’ll be doing all they can to help the company get every ticket to every customer as quickly and efficiently as possible.
And if it turns out that they’re not rolling up their sleeves and getting stuck in as we say then we strongly advise that if you’re gonna book it then just make sure that you don’t Thomas Cook it.
About the Author: Paul Kirby
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