Internally, we made every department in the building aware of Pronger’s absence. We created a FAQ sheet and interns, such as myself, were trained to take calls from angry participants. We were told to explain how their ticket could still be used at the carnival and assure customers that other players were still available for autographs and photographs.
To inform the public, the department reached out to all of those who had pre-purchased tickets via email. We explained the unfortunate circumstances and instructed guests that they could still receive photographs and autographs for any available player with their Pronger ticket, at the carnival. We also updated the Flyer’s CharitiesFacebook page with the same information. Additionally, we mailed a signed autograph picture to every pre-purchased Pronger order.
The unfortunate circumstances of Chris Pronger’s absence enabled me to get a better a look into crisis management and communications. I learned that the two key factors in handling the crisis were: informing the public that they still had options prior to the carnival, and still giving the public what they paid for, which was the autographed picture.