Little Things Mean Alot
Miners used keep a sparrow with them as they worked deep in the mines. If the sparrow died, they would evacate immediately. The sparrow's death was always a harbinger of worse things to come, usually death by from carbon monoxide poisoning.
I am sure that Netherlands-based TV network Endemol wished that they hadn't ever heard of a certain house sparrow. It seems that they were putting up some 4 million dominoes in order to break a Guiness record and a common house sparrow got into the hall and knocked down some 23,000 of them. Pest control was called and the house sparrow was shot dead.
You can read about it in this article that has been making the rounds to all the local, national papers and international papers.
It seems that Edimol made a judgement call in order to save their business interest, but that they didn't have a firm grasp on how the general public would see this act: selfish, brutish, money-grubbing, etc.
Corporations do this all the time. They make what they think is a sound business decision without taking into account the credibility cost. Public relations has a role here. If they are to be the experts in public opinion and they have a seat at the table, the correct question would be:
Is there any other way that we can capture and remove the sparrow without killing it? Don't you think that it would make us look bad not to try?
We all have our “sparrows” to contend with, PR should always ask, how can we deal with this “sparrow” responsibly?