With D.C. mayor’s office at the vortex, how did the various entities fare in the wake of the rail collision?
Our nation’s capital is no stranger to dealing with calamities. From the Sept. 11 attack on the Pentagon to the recent shooting at the Holocaust Museum, crisis communicators can learn a lot about how D.C. handles a disaster.
When two Metro trains collided this week during evening rush hour, it was time for the city to go into crisis mode—again.
Crisis communicators chimed in and analyzed how the D.C. mayor’s office and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) have been dealing with the situation.
Norissa Giangola, who specializes in crisis communications at Coqui Communications, says that in a disaster, “people want to know that that people are being taken care of and that authorities are in control.”
Soon after the collision, Mayor Adrian Fenty was at the scene and talked to the media. He scored points with crisis communicators simply by being present.
“He responded as quickly as possible,” say Chris Brown, a communication consultant based in D.C. “To get from the mayor’s office downtown to the Northeast side as fast as he did was hard to do. When he got to the scene, he was accessible.”