Pilot Light

Inferno is a PR consultancy. This is not. This is Inferno’s blog.

A masterclass of ‘Don’t!’ from BA

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Oh dear

I have not been personally affected but the T5 fiasco really is a case study of what can go wrong with a big, high-profile project on a marcomms and basic business level. I forgot all about the opening, but at Inferno Towers we all could not help but notice the festival of euphemisms that spewed from BA and BAA on the first terrible day – terms like ‘baggage performance issues’ and ‘staff familiarisation problems’ represented the worst part of spin vocab. A kind of marcomms political correctness where language itself is bent and broken to try to take the sting out of a real issue, but just provokes mockery from readers and anger from the affected. Fleet Street veteran Anthony Hilton, now with the Evening Standard, wrote a majesterial piece yesterday listing the failures on every level and it is well worth a read.

In terms of crisis comms the old idea of taking responsibility, providing clear and timely info to the affected and taking visible steps to remedy the problem was rejected in favour of a fog of words and denials that would have shamed a Post-Modern literature seminar.

As Hilton writes, businesses stripped bare of middle managers are left as struggling organisations of low level, virtually unseen executors of a strategy devised by executives in ivory towers who get their information late and manage down by uninformed diktat. Willie Walsh has a rep as a very able executive in his industry, but few leaders can survive open mockery like this game hosted by the Metro. Stay tuned, and look out for some deeply discounted flights in the near future.



Written by pilotlight

02/04/2008 at 1:32 pm

Posted in Business, Media, PR

Tagged with , ,

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