Saturday, February 24, 2007


A crisis stalled JetBlue Airways (JBLU) over nearly a week following a Feb. 14 ice storm in New York. Hundreds of passengers were stranded and flights canceled in the wake of the storm.
Not only JetBlue printed an apology to customers in a handful of U.S. newspapers but also the chief executive of JetBlue David Neeleman issued profuse public apologies on network television, on the video-sharing site YouTube, and on the JetBlue website. Most importantly, Neeleman looked and sounded sincere in all his public appearances.
Let us divide all the tenets of sound crisis management to three parts:
1. Before the crisis: Be prepared, know that all companies will have a crisis. Know your crisis team.
2. During the crisis: Run to it, avoid "duck and cover." Avoid saying "no comment." No vacuum.
3. After the crisis: Make a sacrifice, don't want to win it all.

(As you know, Duck and Cover was a method of protection against the effects of a nuclear war which the US government taught to generations of school children. Immediately after they saw a flash, they had to get on the ground and assume fetal position, lying face down and covering their heads with their hands.)

The good PR move to face a crisis is to run to it, to avoid "duck and cover".


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