Published on February 18, 2014
Ethiopian Airlines ET702 Hijacking to Geneva Crisis Management 2.0 Case Study Thinking Differently about Aviation Marketing
Era of the “anywhere” newsroom This was the first time we have seen an airline incident receiving blow by blow coverage on social media, even before the aircraft made a landing! As Ethiopian Airlines flight ET702 flew past its scheduled destination of Rome, aviation experts and novices alike were sharing information online at the speed of light.
The end doesn’t matter Once the aircraft had landed, it was discovered that it was a rogue co-pilot who had forced the plane to proceed to Geneva in order to seek asylum. No one was injured or harmed. Though, it’s what happened before the aircraft touched down that should be of concern to aviation executives globally. This deck offers insights and
ET702 Hijacking Citizen journalism at its peak Find us on: Twitter Facebook Linkedin Thinking Differently about Aviation Marketing
The news first hits Airliners.net The forum full of aviation enthusiasts, geeks and airline staff is the first to see a post about the plane’s corresponder set to “7500” – the international code for hijacking. Updates follow every few seconds, with exact location and altitude.
Then it’s on Twitter…
Live Maps of the flight hits Twitter Ex-Reuters journalist, Matthew Keys, is one of the first to tweet out Live maps of the airplane circling Geneva, even before landing. https://twitter.com/MatthewKeysLive
Live ATC Recordings released Matthew Keys goes on to release Live recordings between the hijackers and the Geneva Airport ATC, first on SoundCloud, then on his Twitter account. https://soundcloud.com/producermatthew
Leading industry blogs report Live!
Leading blogs report Live! In times of uncertainty, industry-specialist blogs like Airlinereporter.com and Jaunted become trusted sources of information for the general public.
Other aviation executives and enthusiasts join in with updates By this time, a hashtag, #ET702, has been established on Twitter and lots of aviation executives and enthusiasts are contributing to the conversations. In this age of instant communications, messages spread far and wide. And quickly too.
SimpliFlying chips in with our 2-cents
The tweets, photos and Facebook posts cross 14mn impressions
The Accidental Spokespersons make the news
Ethiopian Airlines issues a press statement Ethiopian Airlines Press Release: Ethiopian Airlines flight 702 on scheduled service departing from Addis Ababa at 00:30 (local time) scheduled to arrive in Rome at 04:40 (local time) was forced to proceed to Geneva Airport. Accordingly, the flight has landed safely at Geneva Airport. All passengers and crew are safe at Geneva Airport. Ethiopian Airlines is making immediate arrangements to fly its esteemed customers on-board the flight to their intended destinations.
And then deletes the release…
Then releases it again with minor changes
ET702 Hijacking What airlines need to learn… Find us on: Twitter Facebook Linkedin Thinking Differently about Aviation Marketing
Social Media is full of mis-information While social media is full of quick information, it can often be inaccurate. If the airline is not there to listen, fact check and correct the wrong information, then it has the potential to spread far and wide. This often impacts the brand negatively. In this case, while most of the information happened to be accurate, there were claims of the door being destroyed, when it was merely opened on the inside. There were also tweets about the plane crashing, initially.
If you’re on social media, get your crises management strategy right Not only is Ethiopian Airlines present on Twitter and Facebook, their Press Release clearly stated the links to their channels. This set the expectations that anyone can engage with the airline there for more information. For most of the duration of the incident, the airline’s Twitter account talked about a bed of roses. And once there was a statement, they quickly reverted to ads about London and Africa. There was no engagement. Twitter was being used like a radio!
Don’t start digging the well, when you’re thirsty It appears from the incidence that Ethiopian Airlines has “checked the boxes” for being on social media, but not invested in any resources in developing a strategy around crises management or customer service. This, despite the fact that many of their staff possibly found out about this incident on Facebook or Twitter, before an email from their boss arrived. And all this backfires when there is a crisis situation. Had they planned ahead, engaged passengers and journalists online and set the facts right, the damage to the brand could have been reduced. But now, it Learn more about our in-house Crises Management MasterClass cannot be undone.
ET702 Hijacking Crises Management 2.0 – How to prepare for the next crises? Find us on: Twitter Facebook Linkedin Thinking Differently about Aviation Marketing
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For more case-studies: www.SimpliFlying.comhas worked with over 50 airlines and airports globally SimpliFlying on customer engagement strategy. If you’re keen to ensure that your crises management strategy remains relevant, get in touch to learn more about our consulting and training services. Helping airlines & airports engage travelers profitably http://www.SimpliFlying.com