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Harvard Business: Crisis Communications and American Airlines

The mere fact that plenty of  firms are reporting bad news these days does not make the task any easier to perform. Kathy Bloomgarden, writing on Harvard Business Publishing’s site, has an interesting look at how American Airlines tackled a recent wave of cancellations caused by emergency safety inspections. The specifics of why American Airlines was in the situation are not the focus, but rather how they communicated the bad news – which, apparently, they did well.

Bloomgarden gives three clear guidelines:

  • Communicate right away, do it sincerely, and do it from the top
  • Take a personal tone and focus on what’s relevant
  • Communicate with your customers wherever your customers are

The case is a clear and concise example of how to handle the communication side of your crisis management – and one many organizations might be wise to compare with their own crisis communication plans.

http://blogs.harvardbusiness.org/cs/2008/04/crisis_communications_and_amer.html

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