First off, I'm extremely happy that my horrendous travel schedule did not deliver me to the Northeast last week. Second, I'm a JetBlue fan, even if most routes I'm taking condemn me to United and American Air most of the time.
JetBlue is a young company, who just revealed the first blemish on the face of its seven-year history, and it was a pretty ugly one that left people locked on unventilated planes on the JFK tarmac for up to 10 hours. My wife is claustrophobic. Had we been on that flight it would have been extremely hardon her.
Still, I had to wince when through Personal Bee, I was directed to Paul Kedrosky's Infectious Greed, where Paul says that the airline company's lack of information to the public could easily have been a case study for Naked Conversation's. If the book were being written now, I'm sure we would be all over this case. Paul might see it going into "Blogging in a Crisis," or perhaps "Doing it Wrong," but he would be surprised to see us put this one into "Doing it Right."
Paul, you may have missed the startling Page One interview in the New York Times with David Neeleman, founder and CEO of JetBlue, who described himself as "humiliated and mortified," with how JetBlue customers were treated and how his organization melted down.He admitted that part of the problem, was the low-cost model upon which JetBlue is built and he publicly aired additional problems, such as flight attendants being unable to reach the company to find out if a flight was on or off.
This is transparency and it is a case study for how a CEO can use it. Using a blog would have been a better communications tool, but I think it's important to remember that like a hammer, a blog is just a tool.
JetBlue has sinned, it has suffered and it has repented. The guy at the top probably ignored a whole bevy of lawyers telling him not to admit any kind of culpability. He says they'll do better and next time the suffering passengers will be compensated.
Naked Conversations began with the statement that we live in a time when most people don't trust corporations. Personally, I trust this one because of Neeleman's comments. I will be surprised if they do not do better next time.
And, by the way, when the communications officer at JetBlue, reads ths post, they should pay heed that a blog woiuld be a most efficient commnications tool when your next crisis takes place.
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