I think one of the best things people can do to ensure their complaints and comments are heard is to contact the people at the top. This is especially true if there are accessibility or equality requirements that need to be met. Today I want to show you how you can use a library database as a way to contact the people high in the chain of command about your concerns. For example, you could use this to contact people about closed captioning, loop systems, TTY and relay concerns, etc.
(Click on any of the images in this post to enlarge them.)
The particular database I'm using is called ReferenceUSA. It's intended to be used for reference and research and contains information about millions of businesses and also individuals - it's very useful as a yellow/white pages directory. You can contact your local public library system to find out if they subscribe to ReferenceUSA. (And urge them to subscribe if they do not.)
I decided to look up Harkins Theatres. This movie chain has recently been under legal fire for not accommodating deaf people and actually has plans to install captioning systems in all of their theaters by the end of this year as a result of a lawsuit. When I went to their website, I saw that, as usual, there are no open captioned films available at any of their 30 locations in 5 states.
I found this very disappointing. Let's say I wanted to find out who is in charge of Harkins to ask them to show more open captioned movies. It is fairly easy to see from their site that Dan Harkins is in charge, but what about other executives in the company?
I went to ReferenceUSA following the directions from my library (it may be different for yours).
I clicked on "U.S. Businesses" near the bottom left.
I then filled in the information I knew about Harkins. You only need to fill in one field at a time. In this case I thought Harkins was in Phoenix, so I put that information in.
The results, however, didn't help me much. I got results for several theater locations and one person named Harkins (information blurred out). However, you can click on the "Corp. Tree" icon next to any branch of a business to see the entire corporate tree.
The top result is the location I want, actually in Scottsdale. I clicked on it.
Here is the resulting information on Harkins Theatres, Inc. Scroll down.
And there it is... a list of managing employees at Harkins Theatres, Inc. I can now choose to send a letter to any of these employees at the address listed in the result.
I was hoping to be able to email these employees using the guidelines at Consumerist.com, but I can't find any way to tell what Harkins Theatre's email structure is. However, now that I've seen how to research companies using this database, I can definitely use it in the future to find contact information.
I hope this is helpful for you when contacting companies!