Crisis Communications / Downtown Shootings
Goal: Reputation management
Outcomes: Stakeholder engagement, brand ambassador development, customer retention
Our Work: Following multiple shootings in its downtown, the city of Grand Rapids came to Truscott Rossman for crisis communications counsel in an effort to reassure concerned citizens that they were safe downtown. On June 19, 2014 – one day after the second shooting – Truscott Rossman recommended a number of crisis communications tactics for the City to execute in order to mitigate any damage and to alleviate worry. These tactics included:
- Releasing a public statement about its efforts to ensure a safe downtown, which Truscott Rossman drafted for the City. This statement emphasized that the City and Grand Rapids Police Department (GRPD) were taking the situation seriously, explained what measures GRPD was taking, and noted the historically low levels of crime in the City
- Sending written communication to downtown bar/restaurant owners, businesses and residents. This communication highlighted the steps GRPD was taking to remedy the situation and encouraged residents and business owners to get involved and share ideas.
- Sharing public, merchant and resident statements with City Commission.
- Sending written communication to Downtown Ambassadors.
The city of Grand Rapids immediately executed all tactics recommended by Truscott Rossman. Because of these tactics and the City’s quick response, damage was greatly mitigated. Residents continued to go downtown and support their local businesses, levels of concern dropped and stakeholders were actively informed and educated on developments.