DisneyCorporation planned to set up a theme park by the name “Disney’sAmerica” in Prince William County. The theme park was supposed toshowcase the American history. The top management at Disney facednumerous challenges especially on where to locate the site inVirginia. Virginia is home to a variety of American historical sitesand therefore, locating Disney’s theme park in this state wouldinterfere with its historical features. Situating the theme park inVirginia would also create congestion and traffic. This would furtherdegrade the environment. The theme park project also faced a lot ofopposition from politicians, environmentalists and historians. Thesepeople were skeptical about Disney’s ability to portray theAmerican history. The main objective of Disney was to create a parkthat unites Americans as they celebrate their history. Virginia’sgovernor supported the establishment of the theme part stating thatit would create job opportunities for local residents (Alsop,2006).Disney failed to quell opposition from key stakeholders in thehistorical state of Virginia due to poor organizationalcommunication.
Waysin which Disney failed to Incorporate Effective OrganizationalCommunication
Disneyfaced a lot of opposition prior to the inception of Disney’sAmerica theme park. This distorted its original purpose many localresidents were skeptical about the theme park arguing that the parkwould not be able to portray the American history. On its part,Disney failed to engage the local community before the inception ofthe project. Disney is well-known for its mega entertainmentprojects. Local authority as well as residents were convinced thatconstruction of the Disney’s America Park would undermine thehistorical significance of the adjacent sites such as the ManassasBattlefield Park (Eisner & Schwartz, 2010). These challengescontributed heavily in the closure of the Disney’s America project.
Thecommunication strategy used by Disney to resolve this matter wasinadequate. Disney’s top management engaged only the politiciansand local authority in discussions on the matter. These discussionswere not fruitful since the general public was left in the darkregarding the matter. In his memoir, Michael Eisner, Walt Disney’sCEO acknowledged the shortcoming of the theme park project. Forinstance, he acknowledged that naming the park “Disney’s Americawould have amounted to misrepresentation of the American History.Eisner also stated that Disney overlooked the conservative nature ofVirgin’s residents. Hence, Disney failed to quell the controversyaround the theme park. Many residents in Virginia treated the themepark project with suspicion. The local community pushed for theconservation of the historical attributes of Virginia. Disney alsofailed to seek historians’ opinion on the location of the themepark project in the Prince William County (Eisner & Schwartz,2010). The company suffered a blow following the demise of its headof corporate communications. The head of corporate communicationsplayed a significant role in reviewing Eisner’s speech to ensurethat he avoided making unnecessary comments. The Disney’s publicrelations was now in jeopardy and therefore the company attractedmore critics in regard to the Disney’s world theme park. In orderto retain its reputation, the top management decided to do away withDisney’s America project.
Corporatecommunication played significant role in the termination of Disney’sAmerica project. This particular theme park attracted a lot ofcritics especially due to its location in Virginia. Disney failed toengage key stakeholders including historians and local residents. Themode of communication used by Disney to expound on the matter wasthrough the press. Therefore, the company failed to seek the opinionof the grass roots. The establishment of the theme park in Virginiawould increase congestion and pollution. Disney should have usedeffective communication to seek the approval of key stakeholders.This would have allowed the management to provide a plan on how todeal with various issues such as congestion and pollution.
Alsop,R. (2006). The18 immutable laws of corporate reputation: creating, protecting &
Repairingyour most valuable asset.London: Kogan Page.
Eisner,M. & Schwartz, T. (2010). Workin progress risking failure surviving success.New