12 Apr Living up to your strapline
United Airlines take heed. You simply can’t have ‘Fly the friendly skies’ at the core of your brand essence then throw one of your paying customers off an overbooked flight and injure them in the process. Then not expect a backlash.
Especially not two weeks after #leggingsgate.
Especially when almost every other passenger is equipped with their own broadcasting or rather brand destruction device. We now all have the ability to be a ‘have-a -go journalist’ to spread the story worldwide. Within minutes. The accompanying video showing the bloodied doctor being dragged from the plane further compounded the viral frenzy. The fact he was a doctor was a bonus. It was live on Facebook before he was even on the tarmac. Twitter has been overwhelmed with views, comments, retweets and mockery. Fight Club Class gags and protective headwear topping the list.
Every passenger and every customer and every client is now a publisher with a worldwide reach – we marketers and PR professionals must never forget that. With hashtags such as #BoycottUnited beginning to organically trend on social media, imagine the reputational repair bill. Imagine the firings. Imagine the drop in bookings and plummet in shares and brand value.
Imagine the competitor advertising campaigns that will no doubt follow. Come on you PR, social and advertising agencies for BA and Virgin – you have been handed a gift. A dream brief to destroy the competition and win creative awards. And to see your work go viral in seconds – shared to shame the social media beaten brow of the damned. Shared to give glory to the gloaters.
A tweeter’s dream can be a PR nightmare. A monumental brand disaster can be another brand’s fortune. But don’t get complacent – someone is watching you. #ivegotmyeyeonyournextprfauxpas