In an attempt to broadcast a photo from the Seattle crash of a news helicopter this past Tuesday, Fox 31 accidentally showed a picture that left the morning team in shock.
KDVR–TV had a camera pointed to a computer screen during its “Good Day” morning program showing damage from the helicopter crash in Seattle. Then the screen began showing other pictures from Twitter including Edward Scissor-hands, an omelette , and then a penis exposed through a man’s zipper.
Two anchors on set immediately covered their mouths in horror as their colleagues continued on.
Moments after the incident News Director, Ed Kosowski, issued an apology to the Denver Post:
“Fox 31 Denver accidentally broadcast an offensive photo while scrolling live through a Twitter feed of pictures from the crash scene,” the statement said. “The photo was mistakenly broadcast by our control room. It did not come from the tablet many viewers saw being used by one of our anchors. We apologize for the inadvertent broadcast of the image and we are taking immediate steps to prevent such an accident from happening again.”
In the realm of technology, mistakes are bound to happen. But, when they do happen, PR practitioners need to be ready to respond in a timely manner. Instead of Fox 31 sitting around waiting for the issue to die down, an appropriate apology was issued by the news director using the 3 fundamental components of a public apology ( I’m sorry statement, what happened, and how they plan on fixing the problem).