This week Southwest Airlines announced it would be grounding some of their Boeing airplanes after at least one 737 plane in flight developed a hole in its fuselage. Southwest immediately took control of the story before the media could- voluntarily grounding the suspect planes, critically examining the inspection reports and resporting that their fleet age at 11 years for the 737 was the lowest among the five largest carriers in the US.
Today, Boeing announced Southwest was not to blame for the problems. Boeing cited "unanticipated metal fatigue" on their part as the problem.
This model serves as a great lesson for every business facing a crisis. If a problem appears impending- head it off at the pass. Take deliberate action BEFORE the media and public outrage grows to insist you do.
Southwest is going to come out of this looking like a responsible advocate of public safety and that's PR you just can't buy.