Crisis Communications


By Paula C. Squires

In his first public comments on how Charlottesville’s tourism agency responded after a violent rally there led to a fatality, Kurt Burkhart had this message for other convention and tourism bureaus: Plan ahead and be prepared.

Burkhart, executive director of the Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau, said destination-marketing agencies “are on the front lines” when violent incidents occur because the public wants to know when and if a city is safe.

That’s why it’s important to have a crisis communications plan.

Burkhart talked about crisis communications and what his agency had learned from the events of Aug. 11-12, when the “Unite the Right” rally was held in Charlottesville. He spoke during a panel discussion Tuesday at the VA1 Tourism Summit in Norfolk.


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