Southwest’s revamped blog gives staffers a voice

Airline taps 30 employees companywide as regular writers and videographers to engage colleagues and customers alike.

What do a pilot, flight attendant, baggage handler, lost-and-found operator, marketing specialist, and financial analyst have in common?

At Southwest Airlines, they’re all bloggers.

“There’s kind of a negative connotation to most corporate blogs,” says Brooks Thomas, emerging media coordinator for Southwest. “Showing our users, our fans, our customers, and our friends and family that we don’t have to be rigid, we can be ourselves in the way we give that message out.”

The airline launched what Thomas calls a “refresh” of its Nuts About Southwest blog in the last week of January. Before that re-launch, managers spent about two months paging through writing samples, selecting bloggers and training them to join the team. They also rebuilt the blog to fully integrate social media and video.

Building the team

In November, blog managers took to Southwest’s internal blog to ask for a simple writing sample: “Tell us what makes your job so interesting.” They got “dozens and dozens of submissions,” says Thomas.

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