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Question:

Write about the Communication for Qantas Airlines.

 

Answer:

Introduction

Qantas airlines faced a communication situation after a twitter hash tag spiraled out of control. Through social media service Twitter, Qantas launched a contest asking participants to describe their dream luxury in-flight experience (Graham, 2009). However, what was expected to be a marketing gimmick for the airline turned out to be a negative publicity to the company. Approximately 15000 people had used the opportunity to express their frustrations and negative experiences with the airline which is one of Australia’s major brands. Therefore, a plan of action, in this case, a communication strategy was to be used for damage control.

There may be times in any organization when a organization receives bad social media publicity or bad press (Graham, 2009). However, bad press may not seem to be as bad as it seems at first glance , but could do a big damage on a company’s reputation and affect business contacts and customer relationships. For, Qantas airlines, the publicity was bad enough that it was trending not only in Australia but globally for two days, with over 30,000 tweets within a span of two days.

 

Key Issues in this Case

  1. lack of knowledge on how to handle bad publicity
  2. poor response in terms of timing to counter the bad press
  3. Poor communication

A company should check on the factors to consider when choosing a social media advertising tool (Meikle, n.d.). These are some of the questions that you need to answer before considering the social media advertising

  1. To whom do you go? Another question: how do you position yourself in the mind of someone you do not know? If you do not know what will interest you and what you hate, how do you plan to achieve one of the first places in your mind? Define your audience variable by variable. A good technique would be to ask what attributes they consider relevant.2. What are the characteristics of your market? Answer the following questions and get a clearer idea: What are the attributes of the product or service that your target responds favorably to? Who are your competitors and what is your positioning strategy? How do you perceive the different brands that compete in relation to these distinctive characteristics? What would be the best marketing and communication mix to position yourself effectively in the mind of your target? What resources do you have to develop a campaign that allows you to position your brand? 3. Define your positioning strategy Differential advantage If the products or services you market are unique in the market because of some special feature, you can use this as an element on which to build your brand.Assigning a value to each of your actions, whether a "tweet" "retweet, change status, comment, post, etc, you can evaluate later, taking into account the results, what is best that is working, where You must focus your efforts, and what is the ROI of your actions (Lipschultz, n.d.).

Just as with your e-mail marketing lists, for example, the quality is way above quantity. It's no good if you have 20,000 followers on Twitter or Face book Fans, if more than half are SPAM or contact accounts that have no interest. You just need to have an audience of 1000 people, but there have to be 1,000 correct people. Hence the value of you followers is essential.

What future actions can Qantas take to build a positive public perception of the brand?

Qantas airline will have to take the following actions to reverse the negative perception that the brand suffered.

  1. The communication office should confront the source, challenge the views and opinions if what they are saying is not true. But most importantly, they have to come up with a positive message to answer the negative publicity  (Lipschultz, n.d.). For example,  when customers complain about bad experiences when flying Qantas airlines, then the communication officers should bring on board messages from customers who think the airlines is providing the best service in the industry.
  2. The second step is to make amends, if the airline’s customers have legitimate concerns, then the company should be honest and fix the problems (Rand, 2012). The airline should go above and beyond so that the clients view the company care for them. And apologise to the aggrieved customers.
  3. Acknowledge mistakes: Qantas should acknowledge the mistakes rather than cover them up. People are more likely to trust you if you admit you erred.
  4. Enlist satisfied customers to speak on your behalf. The power of satisfied customers should not be under estimated, it can go a long way in ensuring that people see that there are positives in the company. 

1.Timing

Immediate

2.Audience

Qantas airlines customers and general public

3.Sender

Qantas PR company and communication office

4.Key Message

We care about you and we will rectify where there are wrongs.

5.Desired Outcome

To counter the negative publicity and retain our customers.

6.Medium

All social media platforms and especially twitter as well as the electronic media.

7.Materials

All the negative experiences.

8.Frequency

As frequent as possible till we counter the negative publicity.

Qantas should also know that you do not make promises that you will not be able to fulfill. Be emotional: Connect emotionally with your audience (Rand, 2012). Be relevant: Identify what your audience wants and interests you. Be coherent: Between what the companies is and what it claims to be. It promises, but it does. It is different: It creates a promise that makes you unique and that causes you to choose you and not your competition  (Lipschultz, n.d.). When you have achieved attributes such as trust - which is essential for business but does not make you fall in love of a brand - that's when you begin to think of your customer as a person and not as a number.

 

References

Graham, I. (2009). Communication. Mankato, Minn.: QEB Pub.

Healey, J. (2011). Social impacts of digital media. Thirroul, N.S.W.: Spinney Press.

Lipschultz, J. (n.d.). Social media communication.

Meikle, G. (n.d.). Social media.

Rand, C. (2012). Communication. Chicago, Ill.: Raintree.

Thayer, L. (n.d.). Communication.

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