In my last post I talked about crisis communication and how Whole Foods did not respond to their crisis very well. Now I am going to talk about a company that had a crisis and responded to it in a great way.

Southwest Airlines was reported to have missed inspections on some of their airplanes. Journalists and reporters printed stories about the incident and Southwest was forced to land 41 of its planes.

Southwest has a phone bank in case of crises like this one. There are people who answer phones and respond to reporters’ questions and concerns about the inspection issue. Other people that had to be reached were the employees and of course the customers. Because many of the employees for the airline are in the air and cannot reach a computer, there was another form of technology that was being used, the telephone. The Southwest CEO recorded three news lines in a week for the employees over the phone. In these news lines, the CEO talked about things that were happening within the organization that the employees would otherwise not know about. This is especially important during a crisis because employees hear things about their company from other media outlets, but they aren’t able to decipher what is true and what isn’t.

Reaching customers during a crisis is also vital. Southwest posted updates on their company blog, Nuts About Southwest. This encouraged bloggers to respond to what was happening within Southwest. The company made sure they responded to both the positive and negative comments on the blog. I have talked previously about the advantages of negative comments and how they are crucial to making a company better and Southwest understands this.

The Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications for Southwest Airlines talks more about their crisis and how they responded to it both internally and externally.

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