Bimbo Banter


United Breaks Communication Rules


  • Crisis
  • April 13, 2017
  • by Spaeth Communications

United

Amongst United's PR nightmare, the Dallas Business Journal looked to quote Merrie Spaeth, Jimmy Kimmel and fellow Dallas communicator Jo Trizila. You can read the full article in the DBJ, but we've pulled out our top three lessons here:

  1. Ask "Who's your audience?" United failed by letting corporate policy and federal aviation minimums take precedent over serving its customers. Kindness or at least capitalism could've won out in the end.
  2. Corporate-speak doesn't work. United similarly mishandled a situation last month with two young women wearing leggings. They were right on a technicality (non-rev passengers must follow a dress code) but their overly corporate voice left customers feeling cold.
  3. Have a plan. Crises live forever online. While the rate of meme production will slow, undoubtedly someone will recirculate or rediscover the incident, just as we still reference "United Breaks Guitars" in our trainings! Have a crisis communication plan not just in handling future crises but also in responding to the infinite cycle of rediscovery. 



You May Also Like


Christopher ruddy
06.14.17

The Definition of a Friend

Christopher Ruddy, the chief executive of NewsMax, appeared on PBS Monday night and was described as a “friend” of President Trump’s. He dropped the bombshell that the president was considering firing Robert Mueller, the just-appointed Special Counsel, charged… more 

Kathygriffin
06.06.17

The Comedian Who Cried Trump

“He broke me,” sobbed so-called comedian Kathy Griffin reacting to the virtually universal condemnation of her stunt of holding up a severed bloodied (plastic) head of President Donald Trump. In the resulting outcry, CNN announced Griffin would not… more 

Chiefhaber
05.03.17

Setting the Stage: The First Comment

Setting the stage, or more accurately, setting expectations is imperative in crisis management. The initial findings are rarely confirmed and your spokesperson should choose a response that implies the process is fluid. We call this the first comment… more 


Back to Top