Recently the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel made cringe-worthy headlines for an incident that was out of their control.
On January 27th, a Myrtle Beach couple was accused of having sex on the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel and filming it for pornographic videos.
Shortly after the MyrtleBeach SkyWheel news aired locally, it spread like wildfire to other news outlets globally.
In this story, the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel is the victim. Due to the accused couple’s actions, it’s nearly impossible not to stumble upon the shocking news when performing a Google search.
When a business is on the receiving end of this type of unprovoked attention, it’s essential to consult a PR crisis communication firm to combat the unwelcomed news.
Here are some critical key points:
Myrtle Beach and Panama City Beach thrive on tourism that kicks off in early April and ends in late July. Those unfamiliar with the SkyWheel will likely Google something like “Myrtle Beach Ferris Wheel” or “Panama City Beach Ferris Wheel.”
Regulars will know the famous Ferris wheel as the SkyWheel Myrtle Beach or SkyWheel Panama City Beach.
The SkyWheel is in a peculiar position. The incident wasn’t something the SkyWheel did, but it now hurts the brand. If a family visiting Myrtle Beach researches the SkyWheel, they will likely stumble upon the news. While having the potential to ride in a cart that the couple is accused of having sex in isn’t much different than sleeping in a hotel room bed that someone likely had sex in, it still can be considered undesirable.
If we owned the SkyWheel – here’s what we’d do:
- Replace the cart that the couple was having sex in, and let the public know. Sure, it’s probably costly, but how much business are you willing to lose just from the ‘gross’ factor?
- Initiate a PR campaign detailing the steps taken to a.) replace the cart and b.) ensure this doesn’t happen again. Maybe that means installing additional security cameras and letting riders know, so there are no other ‘temptations.’
- Start an Online Reputation Management campaign ASAP. Time is of the essence, especially with tourism season right around the corner.
If you, your business, or your brand has been on the receiving end of unflattering news, don’t let it drag out, thinking it will just ‘go away’ because it won’t. Don’t lose thousands if not millions of dollars waiting for the bad press to go away. Contact AAER today and learn about our proven PR Crisis Communications and Online Reputation Management services today.