Qantas boomerangs goodwill

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Able and How has spotted a rare display of good stakeholder communication, after a fractious industrial dispute – all the way from Australia.

It comes from Qantas Airways, the Australian airline carrier, hot on the heels of the grounded  fleet last week.  Alan Joyce, CEO sent out a timely and informative note to frequent flyers in a reassuring tone that oozed best practice in this situation.

So what are the three elements that reflect best practice in crisis communications?

1. Segmented audience. Research shows that the majority of revenue comes from business and first class air travellers. Frequent flyers have enormous power.

Always speak to your most sensitive stakeholders, and do it fast.

2. Informative and engaging. Joyce is protecting the reputation of the carrier. He is translating the impact of external decisions by Fair Work Australia and reporting on what this will mean for travellers.

Keep communications relevant, by clearly highlighting the impact on your audience.

3. Reinforce strategy. We can identify three strategic messages:  1. On-time performance (operational excellence), 2. Investment (in aircraft, lounges and facilities), 3. Customer experience (in-flight experience and customer loyalty).

Highlight strategic messages effectively  

Companies that quickly communicate during a heightened period of stress, help to retain their competitive advantage.

Despite the storm, we believe that every cloud has a silver lining.



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