SeaWorld: A PR Suicide

Written by: Savannah Isbey, SAS of Winegars Homemade Ice Cream & Coffee

What used to be a place where families spent hours enjoying their favorite shows has now turned into every business’ nightmare. On January 19, 2013 The Sundance Filfamilym Festival premiered  “Blackfish,” a documentary by Gabriela Cowperthwait. The film sparked such an epidemic of anti-Orca-in-a-tank sentiment that SeaWorld, the once loved park, has hit an all time low in attendance.

This might just be every Public Relations (PR) department’s nightmare. We go to school to become PR professionals., We learn all about crisis management and all signs point to the end of SeaWorld. With social media blowing up with PETA updates and constant celebrity stunts against SeaWorld, it’s possible there is no coming back from its fall.

This fits just right…right? According to “Blackfish,” the orcas at SeaWorld are swimming into the equivalent of a bathtub.

SeaWorld has attempted to save it’s brand by launching its “Truth Campaign” which focuses primarily on social media. Here people have the option to check out their website and find information on SeaWorld’s veterinary care, rescue program, and get answers on the accusations being used against them.


Yet, is it working? The question still stands, is there no hope for SeaWorld? Can even the best PR efforts help in this situation? Personally, I don’t envy that PR team and their task ahead.


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