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  • Writer's pictureCrisis Shield

Terror at your local bar

After the tragedy of the Sydney siege at Martin Place there is likely to be extensive media coverage if there are fears of a repeat/similar crime being committed, as we saw with the media turn out to Sunday nights siege at Ludlow Bar and Dining room Southbank, which thankfully ended without any casualties.

The images associated with a police or military response to a siege are dramatic and headline grabbing, and likely to dominate the news cycle. Media outlets will be showing footage, taking photographs for social media and their websites. Networks now source images easily from websites of the locations/venues of an incident from venues own social media.

With social media engagement now being a fundamental part of bar and restaurants marketing strategies comes the responsibility to also keep patrons updated in times of crisis. And it is not just social media like Facebook and Twitter that venues must respond to, but also review platforms like Trip Advisor, Urban Spoon and Yelp. With the spotlight upon them, the media and the public will be driven to these sites seeking information and understanding, and negative reviews that may have once been seen by a few people will have a much wider audience.

Within 48 hours of the Ludlow siege a poster on Trip Adviser was asking if Ludlow ‘condoned workplace bullying’ and insinuating that management were responsible for the siege-man coming back to the restaurant with a knife.

The ‘disgruntled employee’ scenario is difficult to deal with as it can’t help but asks the question of provocation. Of course there is no justifiable provocation that could excuse this type of violence, but scrutiny over motive is bound to happen.

While apparently overseas, by flying back to Melbourne, director Paul O’Brian has demonstrated how seriously the issue was taken. In incidences like these for management to not take these seriously can lead to ongoing damage to their brand. Rumors will always swirl but Ludlow’s press release did much to address this before they got out of control. It addressed concerns of the public’s safety, the manner in which the man left their employment and explained what will happen now (the matter will go before court, they will re-open as usual). They kept their press release brief but informative with deference to the authorities.

Thanking their employees and acknowledging the social media messages of support in their multiplatform response were also a wise move showing that they care about their staff and patrons.

Do you think your business is prepared for a crisis situation? Call the team at Briggs Communications for a free diagnosis. A 30-minute phone call can inform you of your exposure and preparedness. Call us on (03) 9602 4310 or email

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