Burson helps Lufthansa with crisis comms after Germanwings crash

The WPP firm is coordinating its response from Frankfurt.

FRANKFURT, GERMANY: Burson-Marsteller is assisting Lufthansa discount carrier Germanwings with its crisis communications response after one of its Airbus A320 flights carrying 150 people crashed in a remote area of the French Alps on Tuesday.

Burson’s crisis hub for Lufthansa is located in Frankfurt, Germany, and the firm is coordinating communications in 28 markets. It is focusing on France and Spain, where the flight originated, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Burson is the only firm assisting Lufthansa with crisis comms after the plane crash. However, the airline also works with Cohn & Wolfe in India. Kenyon International Emergency Services also works with Lufthansa, but is not helping the airline with crisis comms after the incident, said Kenyon COO Brandon Jones.

Burson has supported Lufthansa on corporate communications activities in Europe since 2006. Last year, it won a contract extending the partnership three years.

Burson worldwide CEO Don Baer declined comment on the matter.

On Tuesday, Lufthansa and Germanwings changed their logo colors on Twitter and Facebook to grey and black after the crash.

This morning, Lufthansa posted a video statement from its CEO, Carsten Spohr, on its social media pages with the hashtag #indeepsorrow.

"Visiting the crash site yesterday, I was once again, in a shocking moment, made aware of a fact that all of us at Lufthansa know so well: safety in aviation is not a given," Spohr said in the video. "It is something we have to work hard for everyday and every night."

He added that safety is and will continue to be a top priority for the airline.

Investigators are continuing to look into the crash in France, and experts have called terrorism an unlikely cause. Some employees of the airline are refusing to fly, forcing the discount carrier to cancel flights on Wednesday.

PR pros gave the company’s crisis response mixed grades on Wednesday morning.

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