Singer Aids San Francisco Zoo with Crisis Communications
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report
CEO

Singer Aids San Francisco Zoo with Crisis Communications

Veteran San Francisco public affairs counselor Sam Singer, president of Singer & Associates, is providing public relations support to the city’s zoo in the wake of a Christmas Day tiger attack that left a teenager dead and two of his friends injured.

Paul Holmes

SAN FRANCISCO—Veteran San Francisco public affairs counselor Sam Singer, president of Singer & Associates, is providing public relations support to the city’s zoo in the wake of a Christmas Day tiger attack that left a teenager dead and two of his friends injured.

Singer has been acting as spokesman for the zoo, which faced criticism for its initial response to the attack. According to press reports, zoo management provided at least five different descriptions of the tiger grotto's dimensions before finally admitting last week that the wall of a dry moat separating the tigers from visitors was four feet shorter than national recommendations. In addition an attorney for the survivors alleged that zoo employees were slow to respond when told of the escaped tiger.

The San Francisco Chronicle has reported on a series of controversies since zoo director Manuel Mollinedo took over the facility slightly less than four years ago, including the death of three of the zoo’s four elephants, and of a 44-year-old hippopotamus, a day after a move; an outbreak of beak-and-feather disease among parakeets; and the cancelation of grizzly bear naming contest after officials decided to sell the naming rights instead.

Mollinedo declined to comment for that story, and the zoo’s public relations director, Lora LaMarca, told the Chronicle that he was “not doing interviews.”
Meanwhile, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums recently launched a public relations campaign to counter accusations by animal-rights groups that animals are mistreated, and has added crisis communications preparedness to its training program. The PR campaign was developed by Steve Feldman, who joined the AZA in 2006 from public affairs firm Powell Tate.
View Style:

Load 3 More
comments powered by Disqus