As a member of the TFL PR management team the aim of this essay is to examine the media management of the London Bombings event that occurred on the 7 July 2005. Particular attention will be paid to the response of the TFL (Transport for London) PR team, the management of which resulted in their winning the PR industry's “Crisis Communications” award (Cropper 2006).
The TFL PR team was highly praised for the way it managed
the London Bombing crisis and its actions both during and
post the bombing event. Subsequent reports (Barnes 2006;
Link Survey 2006) confirmed that members of its PR teams had
been sent to all of the underground stations affected in
less than 20 minutes from the explosion of the first device
and a PR liaison officer appointed to the TFL Network
Control Centre within the same time-frame.
The TFL PR teams faced a complex and daunting task. Not only
did their members have to act to shield network staff from
disruptive media interruptions, they were all required to
provide the media and the public with immediate and ongoing
updates regarding the disruptive impact the bombings was
causing to the London travel network. During the first 24
hours post the event they also had to manage in excess of
2000 phone calls from concerned members of the public,
including relatives, and 250 media requests for interviews.
A secondary, but equally important task for the PR
management team was the need to use the media to restore
public trust and confidence in the London travel networks.