Crisis/Issues Management Case Study
An internationally renowned physics laboratory in Brookhaven, New York, owned by the U.S. Department of Energy but managed by a consortium of universities.
A tritium leak into the ground caused community and local government outrage and was used as a rallying point for anti-nuclear activists seeking to close the reactor altogether.
Enact regular dissemination of information to media and key government officials. Develop easy-to-grasp information sheets covering key issues of concern. Facilitate meetings with community members, presenting factual information to counteract fears. Provide vigorous defense against alarmist and opportunistic attacks by anti-lab activists. Enlist regional businesses and independent scientific personnel to support the Lab.
More people in government and in the community understood facts of contamination, and became convinced of water supply safety. Marginalization of some of the most vocal activists. Increased support from business community. Gradual changing of major daily’s coverage to be less punitive, including an editorial lauding the Lab’s accomplishments, and calling for “cooler heads.”
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