Southwest PR campaign makes all the right moves

Southwest Airlines has once again earned its reputation for communicating better than nearly everyone in the business.

As readers know by now, the FAA delivered a punishing body blow to the Dallas-based airline last week, accusing the popular carrier of failing to conduct mandatory checks for fuselage cracking. This is the equivalent of the Food and Drug Administration telling consumers that their breakfast cereal may kill them.

By Friday afternoon, Southwest had mobilized every communication channel at its disposal. The airline’s CEO Gary Kelly appeared on CNN to declare the charges “unfair” and “unprecedented.” A statement was posted on the carrier’s ticket booking site, and the airline sent an e-mail to its Rapid Rewards customers clearly and simply stating its case. No passive voice, no statements that “mistakes were made,” no jargon. Just the facts as it saw them.

But what set this media defense campaign apart from any other in recent memory was its bold use of Nuts About Southwest—the company’s external blog

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