Sears Tower forms crisis comms plan

CHICAGO: TrizecHahn, the company managing the Sears Tower, has

instituted a new e-mail communications link with tenants so it can

quickly deal with rumors about building attacks and security.

TrizecHahn is also using Burson-Marsteller to field the flood of media

calls it has been getting since September 11. Burson had been working

with the 1,450-foot-tall Sears Tower, the tallest building in the US, on

marketing PR for about six months prior to the attacks.

"The media situation was critical at first, but it was also necessary to

set up different tenant communications that weren't necessary before,"

said Rick Matthews, SVP of PR and corporate communications with


Matthews began his job a week after September 11, coming from Rubenstein


Each tenant in the Sears Tower now has a person or persons designated to

receive e-mails from the building. "The expectations for communications

now are immediate," said Mark Spencer, a manager at Burson's Chicago

office handling the account. The e-mail system already has been used to

dispel rumors about possible bombs or attacks on the building. The

building also has a direct phone line to Chicago's 911 police emergency

center, which in turn has a direct line to the FAA.

TrizecHahn staffers have been meeting with tenants to explain the new

security measures in place. A tenant meeting is planned for later this

month to discuss long-term security plans and to get tenant input.

The Sears Skydeck, an observation area closed since September 11, will

reopen later this month with a publicity event, Matthews said.

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