Here’s a story that’s been in the news in the UK during the past few days that, on the face of it, could spell disaster for the transport company concerned:
The organiser of a Devon music festival has spoken of her horror at seeing a £45,000 grand piano fall off the back of a removal firm’s lorry. […] when the instrument, regarded as the “Rolls Royce of pianos”, was being lifted off the lorry, it crashed over. […] The piano was being lifted from a hydraulic lift on a removal lorry when it toppled over and fell 8ft (2.5m) before landing on a bank, causing extensive damage to the instrument. […] The piano, which has been returned to London, is due to be inspected on Friday for an independent assessment of the damage.
For G&R Removals, the specialist piano transporting firm from whose truck the piano fell, the feeling you get from reading media reports is that they screwed up and so would you trust them in future to transport such valuable cargo.
Yet from watching a report on BBC TV news yesterday, it appears that the precious piano actually suffered little damage and still plays well, notwithstanding what it looks like from this picture (more at BBC News).
So what about the situation for G&R Removals? They could suffer serious damage to their reputation however this incident turns out. Text on their website says “Since 1968 we have gained respect for our handling of all musical instruments throughout the UK and Europe.” Plus they have some terrific testimonials on their website.
But is all this sufficient to protect that reputation? I doubt it.
If I were G&R Removals, I’d be updating the website pretty quickly to reference this unfortunate event. And once it’s clear what the outcome is, talk about that as well.
Better still, if they had a blog they could even engage visitors in discussion, talking through and beyond the sensationalist media reporting (some of which likens this incident to a Laurel and Hardy movie).
Whoever dropped the clanger, it’s an opportunity for G&R to protect that all-important reputation.
[…] The session will explore how these developments change the PR landscape? Is the press release dead? Is the art of spin dying out in the face of a new honesty demanded by an audience that’s more connected than ever before? How should companies react when they drop a clanger? […]