Aviation company lauded for communication during devastating tornado

Spirit AeroSystems had to get creative to stay connected and prevent its stock price from taking a hit following a storm that brought its operations to a halt.

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It’s never easy, whether you’re an airline dealing with a celebrity tantrum or a car manufacturer announcing a recall.

But it’s hard to top the crisis that hit Spirit AeroSystems, a Wichita, Kan., company that took a direct hit from a tornado on April 14, 2012.

The tornado damaged dozens of buildings and cut off electricity, backup power, gas, water, pressured air, and sewage treatment, Spirit AeroSystems reports. Roof damage totaled 10,000 square feet, exposing equipment and product to outdoor elements. The company lost email, landline phone service, corporate intranet, and the company’s public website, blacking the primary tools relied upon for emergency communication to employees and external audiences. Operations came to a halt.

So how did Spirit respond?

The company found ways to communicate critical information to investors, its 11,000 employees, the media, and the community without access to many of its primary communication tools.

That effort took top honors in the Best Crisis Management category in PR Daily’s Digital PR & Social Media Awards.

PR Daily’s 2012 Digital PR and Social Media Awards were presented by Synaptic Digital. Learn more about Synaptic Digital here (pdf)

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