Branson praised for crisis response to fatal Virgin Galactic test crash

Sir Richard Branson has done a good job of handling Virgin Galactic's response to the crash of its test craft SpaceShipTwo, in which one of the pilots died, according to a crisis comms specialist.

Branson flew to the vicinity of the crash in the Mojave Desert in the US, where Virgin Galactic's operations are based, and appeared at this press conference televised by news channels such as CNN.

Commenting on Branson’s response to the tragedy, Chris Woods, a senior account director and crisis comms specialist at Hanover, said: "Overall, he handled it very well. It was reminiscent of how he handled the Virgin Trains crash a few years ago. He got to the site as quickly as he could and he fronted the response.

"Another thing he did well was to round up the advocates, i.e. people who had bought tickets for future flights, to speak for Virgin Galactic. Branson is the founder and this incident puts into question whether Virgin Galactic is too much of a stretch for the Virgin brand."

PRWeek US' report on the immediate reaction to the accident on Friday night covered how Branson tweeted his decision to fly over to the US while Virgin Galatic's comms agency Edelman assisted with media updates.

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