LAST CALL: Roher's cool head prevails in mishap with microbrewery

Roher PR thought it had covered all of its bases, and was feeling quite confident about its cleverly planned "kegger. The agency had scheduled a product launch demo for its client - Kenwood - to introduce the company's new Music Keg digital car audio player, appropriately, at a Manhattan microbrewery. Approximately 50 press members were confirmed to arrive at 4:30pm.

Roher PR thought it had covered all of its bases, and was feeling quite confident about its cleverly planned "kegger. The agency had scheduled a product launch demo for its client - Kenwood - to introduce the company's new Music Keg digital car audio player, appropriately, at a Manhattan microbrewery. Approximately 50 press members were confirmed to arrive at 4:30pm.

Everything was set to go off without a hitch when Rick Roher, president of the agency, received an unexpected call at 10am, the morning of the event. It was from the microbrewery's manager, saying that the New York City Department of Health had just ordered the establishment to shut down immediately on account of its refrigerators not being cold enough.

Even the most prepared PR firm does not anticipate appliance temperature control to be one of its main concerns when servicing a consumer technology client. "There was a brief moment of utter disbelief when the restaurant manager first called, said Roher. "But quickly thereafter everyone swung into action, and did what needed to be done."

Within one hour of receiving the potentially disastrous news, Roher PR had gotten offers from three different venues willing to host the Kenwood product launch. The agency decided to hold the event at a hotel bar that fittingly blended modern decor with mahogany wood paneling to satisfy the need for a cutting-edge, yet beer-themed location.

Roher staffers phoned each and every guest scheduled to attend immediately upon learning where the event was being relocated. Kenwood also employed a couple of its staffers to stand outside the shut-down microbrewery to inform the few guests who could not be reached by phone. The result: Not a single lost attendee from the original guest list.

And the lesson learned: When faced with a crisis situation, don't panic, employ quick thinking, and pray you have an understanding client. Of course, serving everyone copious quantities of beer will help, too.

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