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SeaWorld PR Report

Advance PR Final

Corey Young

on 14 April 2010

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Transcript of SeaWorld PR Report

SeaWorld PR Report February 24, 2010 On Wednesday, February 24, 2010, a killer whale at the SeaWorld theme park in Orlando, Florida killed one of the SeaWorld trainers just before am afternoon show. According to the Orlando sheriff’s spokesperson, 40-year-old SeaWorld veteran Dawn Brancheau, was in the whale holding area when “she apparently slipped or fell into the tank and was fatally injured by one of the whales. However, an eye witness to reports that te whale jumped up and grabbed the trainer and took her into the tank where she died. Tilikum, or Tilly as the whale is named, has also been responsible for the deaths of another trainer in previous attack, but has still been allowed to perform in the various Orca whale shows held in the Orlando park. In 1991, Tilly fatally attacked trainer Keltie Byrne, who was also a trainer at the park and had slipped into the whale tank. Since the most recent accident in February of 2010, there has been new measures taken to prevent trainers from entering the whale tanks and having to do any physical interaction with Tilly. New tools for trainers to use that extend into the water to keep the trainers from having to enter the tank with Tilly. Organizations such as PETA, and the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) have been weighing in on SeaWorld and pushing for the whale to be set back in its natural habitat. After the death of the trainer, there came another development in the case. Before the story had been that the trainer had slipped into the water and the whale grabbed her and took her down into the water. However, according to a tourist video tape that caught the entire incident on camera as well as the tank cameras, the trainer is seen in the tank playing with the belly of the whale and rewarding him for his performance at the previous show. SeaWorld trainers had been given instructions not to enter the tank with the whale, yet this trainer decided to do so anyhow. The Race Formula Research Action Commincation Evaluation As an Public Relations Officer, my job in this case is to help SeaWorld rebuild their image and to let the public know that they are still a great place for families to come and enjoy the various sea attractions. The first part of the RACE formula is the research portion. In order for SeaWorld to maintain a good reputation with its public even in the midst of tragedy is to research new ways to ensure them that this kind of incident will not happen again and that they have the care and safety of their trainers at heart and in mind. They have already started doing so by implementing new policies for interacting with the whales in the tanks and developing new safety tools for the trainers working with the whales, especially those like Tilly. Once SeaWorld has conducted research on how to restore their image as a family atmosphere and safe for everyone they will be able to start putting some things in place. Publicizing their new policies for trainer safety would be a good first step. Also, mandating training for their trainers who interact with the whales would be another safety measure that SeaWorld could take. Communication Methods Statement On Website
Letter To Shareholders
Offer Meeting w/ PETA & WWF
Television Interview

Once SeaWorld have done the research, action, and communication, they can compare park admission after the communication campaign began and before the death of the trainer took place On the legal side, SeaWorld has recently joined with the family of the trainer to keep the video tape of the death private and in the hands of the family only. A visitor to the park was able to catch the whale and the trainer on tape during the moments of the trainers interaction with the whale and her death soon after. ethical questions have risen concerning the whale and what will happen to him next. Many believe that the whale should be punished. Also, the whale return back to performing for the public the same day as the funeral service of the trainer which he killed. PETA would like to see the whale released from the park and placed in the ocean out of captivity.
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