http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/nat...orld-headlines


Sad things are not supposed to happen during the Happiest Celebration on Earth. But for the fourth time this summer, the Disney company - in the midst of an 18-month birthday party for its first theme park - is dealing with bad news.

This is the second reported death of a child at Disney World this summer. A third child, who collapsed after riding the Tower of Terror ride last month, remains in critical condition at Florida Hospital Orlando.

And just a week ago, 15 guests were injured at Disney's California Adventure when roller coaster cars they were in were hit from behind by a second train.

Four such negative headlines in the span of less than two months would be hard on any company, but experts who specialize in public relations say Disney should be able to weather the storm.

Disney "is better equipped than any company out there" to deal with such negative news, said Eli Portnoy, a brand consultant who works in Orlando.

"They understand the power of their brand and their relationship with customers," Portnoy said. "They understand that when a crisis occurs, you have to respond quickly, forthrightly and not try to cover up."

"No doubt the Disney brand and PR people would like for all the news to be pure pixie dust. But it doesn't work that way."