Monday, January 22, 2007


Last week, I spoke to the Texas Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus. It was a great group. The members are passionate about their communities and offering attractive business meetings sites and memorable tourist destinations.

As we discussed working with reporters to get their stories out, I asked them to role-play several scenarios. One seems far-fetched to some audiences--but unfortunately, not to this one. The hypothetical situation goes like this: two of your top executives have been murdered by an estranged husband of an employee. A visitor to the office carries a concealed weapon and returns fire, killing the suspect. As the person now in charge of the office, what do you say to reporters?

Most groups get the idea that they should express compassion and concern for victims' families, and many recognize the visitor for heroic efforts. But most people don't want to think about horrible things happening to them. However, domestic and workplace violence happen too often in our country. It's like the ice storm we had in Texas a few days ago. I'd prefer not to have to ever deal with it, but we've got to take precautions. And by thinking for a few minutes about what you will say in a crisis, and how you can protect your workplace, you may save a life at most and save face at the least.