2011 Digital PR Awards – Crisis Management

Winner: NEI and Burson-Marsteller – Digital Crisis Management for U.S. Nuclear Industry during Japan Crisis

The tragic earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan on March 11, 2011, had the side effect of creating what Burson-Marsteller calls a “crisis of confidence” in the safety of U.S. nuclear energy. For the Nuclear Energy Institute it was essential, then, to develop a program to calm nuclear energy fears. On March 16, B-M launched the “@NEIupdates” Twitter account that allowed selected journalists and experts to introduce new information, effectively making it the crisis campaign’s de facto newsroom. An “NEI Nuclear Notes” blog and YouTube channel provided even more in-depth information. An April 4 poll showed the campaign to be effective: the majority of Americans once again viewed U.S. nuclear plants to be safe. —SP

Honorable Mention

American Airlines and Weber Shandwick - Bomb Threat Response: American Airlines Tweets with Passengers Aboard Flight AA24: When an American Airlines flight was the target of a bomb threat on Aug. 19, 2010, Weber Shandwick and AA handled the crisis by reassuring passengers via Twitter that all was safe.

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