06/04/2009

mediahype, oversensation and crisiscommunication

Somewhere in a small village (wilrijk) at a very small kindergarten (deugnietje) a man attacked another man at the door with a knife and hit him (nothing critical). So you would think that this would be just another local incident that could happen anytime anywhere (kindergarten or not). THere were no deaths, no big bloodshed or no films on Youtube.

In the minutes and hours after this small incidents all kindergartens of the region and flanders were alerted by email that such an incident took place, in case they person would try to mimic the attack on a kindergarten itself.

The media took it up and now the police services are overwhelmed by phone calls from freightened parents.

There is no reason to even mention this anywhere else than in the regional back pages somewhere in the corner.

Online it is a headline growing at sometimes bigger each time because more people react, add and make the visitor numbers blow up which makes the site administrator put the story even more up front.

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