By: Ivan Christianto – PR Consultant of Fortune PR
Dealing with a major safety crisis like a plane crash, is always a nightmare for the aviation industry. In the world where reputation is number one for your business, this type of crises is categorized as one of the hardest PR comebacks.
According to The New York Times, International Air Transport Association (IATA) mentioned three major challenges in aviation which are safety, convenience, and sustainability. That is why the aviation industry as one of the most profitable industries, is also the most challenging one.
But crisis could happen unexpectedly. That is why all airline companies need a strong crisis management plan. So when the crisis suddenly hits, they know what to do.
Here are the three actions airline companies must do when responding to a crisis:
- Make a crisis plan
Airline companies should always make a crisis plan in advance, a written guidebook of Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) when dealing with a crisis. This guidebook should be distributed to all employees, not only for the executive board members. Airline companies must make sure that all internal employees know how to answer questions from the public when the crisis appears.
- Information update & consistency
The airline PR division should be the first to react. When crisis like plan crash strikes, inform the public about the truth and update the information fast. Publish press releases and conduct press conference using credible data to tackle rumors. Point to one spokesperson and be consistent with the information sent out to the public.
- Show empathy & take action
When talking in a press conference aired on television, the company’s spokesperson must be honest. Show empathy using a well-mannered tone and good gesture. Give the public the right key messages and credibility to show empathy. Tell the public the next step of the company’s action to resolve the crisis. The role of a CEO is vital during a crisis, so having a likeable and a media trained CEO is an advantage for an airline company.