British Airways Crisis Communications Fail

Crisis communications fail. The day British Airways nearly lost its reputation as the World’s Favourite Airline

  • Can you afford to make the same crisis communications mistakes in your PR strategy?

  • How much is your reputation worth?

  • Do you regularly, thoroughly test your crisis plan?

This seven-point  plan could have saved the airline millions in compensation and lost credibility.

BA’s catastrophic computer crash led to hundreds of cancelled and delayed flights.

Thousands of passengers were stranded. Holidays ruined. And families in tears.

But it was the airline’s shambolic PR response, rather than the IT meltdown itself, that threatens its reputation.

BA suffered communications breakdown on an epic scale.

Airline staff on the ground knew no more than the passengers they were trying to help.

 

“There are no managers here. We don’t know what we are doing.”

– BA ground crew

The seven-point crisis communications plan

Restless Communications develops real-time scenarios to stress test and improve your crisis strategy.

We move your plans from the whiteboard into a real world environment.

And we help organisations plan for situations just like this: where an operational issue becomes a communications crisis.

This is typically because information-flow within organisations breaks down.

When automated systems (e.g. texting customers or guests, or updating centralised systems) fall over.

When the queue of customers get longer and longer.

But the volume of accurate customer-facing information gets shorter and shorter.

We can help you identify the weak points. Weed out what doesn’t work. And build on everything you do well to develop an effective crisis communications plan.

We have helped brands deal with natural disasters, terrorist incidents and PR nightmares.

Find out if you are crisis-ready, by running through this seven-point checklist

1) Can you distribute accurate information around your organisation, and then out to customers? When the normal channels you rely on completely fail

2) Do you prioritise information to your social media and digital comms teams during a crisis? Speedy flow of info will take pressure off call centre and front-line staff.

3) Can you immediately scale-up your social customer service team, as demand on their time spikes?

4) Does your social media team have the tools they need to listen and engage? At scale. And at the busiest times of the year?

5) When systems are down, can you co-ordinate your teams on the ground?

6) Can you quickly identify customers in distress – and offer them meaningful help?

7) Are all your staff trained in crisis protocols?

If the answers to all these questions is “yes”, you are on your way to having a foolproof crisis communications plan.

But there are always things you can do better.

Call us now to find out more.

Our team has decades of frontline experience in crisis comms, journalism, broadcast and social media.

We have worked with brands like Eurostar, Starwood Hotels, Express Newspapers, and TfL.

Helping them to prepare and put in place crisis procedures and plans.

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