JetBlue Airlines Crisis

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Photo Credit: Flickr/Jose Mendez

In 2007, after an ice storm, one thousand flights from JetBlue had been canceled, leaving traveler’s furious. Hundreds of flights were canceled in the time-span of only five days, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded. Some passengers were even stuck on the airplane for over ten hours. These passengers were unsure of how technical problems were taking so long to handle with such an urgent crisis. People were blowing up about this issue all over media, causing a major downfall for the JetBlue reputation after hundreds of delays and cancellations were made.

The winter storm caused quite the problem for JetBlue. They did not plan on the delays and cancellations to last five days. On the third day, 71 of the 570 flights had been completely canceled as the airline company failed to find enough planes and crews to help send out flights while meeting regulation.

This situation turned into a political crisis. Thankfully, the public relations for this matter handled the situation excellently.

Courageously, the company’s CEO owned up to the problem about the technical airline issues, and did not once blame the weather for causing the delays. Playing the “blame game” is not a well-liked method to most consumers. Instead of blaming the weather, JetBlue Airlines took the criticism and owned up to their mistakes. JetBlue did receive an abundant amount of complaints and resentment, but were as straightforward and honest as possible with their customers and media.

I believe that JetBlue did the right thing, ethically, by being completely honest and straightforward about the issue. Honesty builds trust with consumers, which is what the company intended to do. It was a public success to not use the “blame game” and blame the weather for all of the problems. JetBlue was honest and took all of the blame for all of the delays and cancellations. This is exactly how I would have handled the situation.

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The Inside Scoop of Communication

Chet Piotrowski is an alum from Eastern Illinois University. He majored in Communication, focusing in journalism. Chet is now a visual photographer, does his own online marketing, and does stories and photography for his local newspaper. What’s even more inspiring is that he owns his own photography studio, Piotrowski Studios. I was able to connect with Chet as we share the same hairstylist, and we conducted the interview via FaceTime. I see Chet marketing his business and work through social media on almost a daily basis, which is a crucial step for promotion.

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Image Credit: Flickr;Suleyman

Whenever I asked Chet what brand of camera he used, this was his response: “Nikon. I have to use caution though. The camera is just a tool. To give you a metaphor, we’re all capable of digging a hole. A shovel can do it for you. But a backhoe can do it more efficiently – the comparison being an all manual camera versus one like I use with all the bells and whistles. It’s not the camera that makes the image, but the vision behind creating the image. The camera is the tool where you produce your vision.”

To get the inside scoop about the realities of a working communication major, keep reading the interview below:

Q1: What is a typical work week like for you?

A: “I am my own business owner. A typical work week for me includes answer phone calls with questions about my pricing, how I do things, and my style with Piotrowski Studios. The newspaper is also one of my clients. In a scene of a fire, I have to approach people. I have a widespread of clients. Working for the newspaper business does not exactly adhere to the public relations mindset. I just report the facts and present them as best as possible.”

As a communication major, it is evident that it is a field of study. Chet works with nearly all areas within communication. As a journalist and photographer, his consistency is inspiring. 

Q2: Tell me about a project that you worked on that you are especially proud of. 

A: “Right now, I am currently working on a book for the St. Anthony basketball team and celebration. I have been wanting to write a book for about 15-20 years, and I did not find a topic that would have a far reaching impact. Effingham has a huge St. Anthony crowd, and I knew I would have a different viewpoint, and a lot of people in the community would respect this work. I am about to set it off for print and will have it by July.”

St. Anthony is a Catholic School in Effingham, Illinois. 

Q3: What do you do to keep current in this industry?

A: “Continuing education is important and crucial. I know a photographer that went to art school and she thought she did not need to go back. Continuing your education is important with any career, but especially in communication and in the arts because there are so many new ways to communicate. Social media is the new avenue to communicate to clients about what we are doing and how we are doing it. You have to learn now to market.”

Communication is constantly changing, and it is changing quickly. Taking classes here and there after you graduate may not be such a bad idea, just to keep up in the industry. 

Q4: What do you wish you would have known before starting your career?

A: “Oh jeez. I think that college does not prepare you for the real world experiences. It provides you with structure, but it does not provide you with what you with what to do if if a situation arises. You have to know how to set prices and how to effectively communicate with people, especially if they think your work or product is too expensive.”

This is some very valuable advice to keep in mind. Since college may not always provide what actions to take in a real-life scenario, finding an internship or job shadowing could provide these experiences and lessons that college classes do not provide. 

Q5: How is writing important in your career?

A: “I wouldn’t say writing specifically- but knowing how to write. As a journalist, you need to learn how to effectively communicate to potential clients with a wide range of fashion. A website will be completely different from a press release. Knowing how to communicate and write just the facts without any emotions attached is different from a press release from a business. Proper punctuation and spelling is crucial. I see a lot of poor spelling, and that is something that has gotten away from society. In the public, you need to carry yourself in a higher standard, and this also goes for social media and press releases. I have seen many mistakes on marketing because they did not take the time to proof read. How you present yourself is a key representation of how people are going to respect you. A well read person, dress accordingly, will typically get more clients.”

The key factor here: PROOF READ, PROOF READ, PROOF READ! Think about this, how likely are YOU going to want to buy a product or trust a business if they misspell words on their marketing or have terrible grammar? 

Q6: What are three tips you would offer someone just starting out in the communication field? 

A: ” My first tip would be to find someone to eat your work and tell the truth on how you need to improve. I am 20 years in my career and I still have the same professor critique my work from EIU. Be open to valuable criticism. The second tip is that you are going to have to put the time in and nothing will be given to you, unless you are a spoon fed baby whose parents have a ton of money. You have to work for your success. Success is not given, it is solely based upon the people who have influenced by career and education, and I use that to improve my work. My third tip is to give back to your community. People are more apt to use businesses that give back to the community. Volunteering, discounting things, and giving things for free are just a few ways to give back. People are more likely to notice what you are trying to do if you give back, opposed to someone, saying, ‘give me me your money!’ Use your voice in the community by giving back to the community.”

Be open to valuable criticism. As a college student, take every bit of advice and criticism that your professors give you, even if it is hard to hear. They are only trying to help you improve. Not only that, keep in touch with them as Chet did, and it can have a lifelong impact on your career. Work hard. You are the destine to your own success. Always give back. Without the community, you would not exactly have a job, so find ways to give back as often as you can. You need them and they need you.

After hearing everything Chet has said about this communication field, it has only made me more excited to graduate and to start working. I always knew that it was a competitive field and hard work is crucial. After I graduate, I would love to find a way to continue giving back to the community through fundraising and volunteering with Special Olympics. I would also love to work for a business that gives back to their local community whether it may be raising money for local animal or homeless shelters, or actually volunteering with them. I think I would like to take a class or two every year just to keep up with the constantly changing communication force. 

Q7: Has the field changed much since you started? 

A: “Oh yes. Where do I begin? I started in ’97 and around the year 2000, the technology bubble exploded and everyone had either a camera or a website. The ability to communicate with people went from from paper, to emailing, blogs, and text messages. A lot of us who were skilled in one verse of communicating lost our jobs. Artists lost their jobs. Journalism will not die, it will just redefine communication. Right now, Effingham Daily News does not have a full time photographer. New York Times even got rid of their public editor. Journalism and how we communicate news and sports is going under a drastic revolution. As a photographer, many of us have the credentials and education, but yet so many people can go out and purchase a camera and think that they can be a photographer without the education, without the proper gear, and without experience. Because of this, I have to make my public relations and marketing differentiate from these people.”

Since the field has drastically changed, and will continue to change, continuing your education would be beneficial. 

Q8: How has technology effected your daily work?

A: “When I first begun my career, I was shooting film and would do this at sports games. I would use two rolls of film, so 72 shots a game, and now I am doing 1,000 shots a game, all because of technology. Technology has taken away the cost of film and chemicals. The cost of product (film and chemicals) has gone to the cost of labor. The time frame to get the images to your clients has become very short. I can go to an event, photograph the event, and then have the photographs to my clients in seconds. I can shoot gymnastics and have the photo online in 30 seconds. At an Effingham football game, I sent a picture from my camera, to my phone, and was able to post the photo within five minutes. With film, that would have taken 25-30 minutes.”

Technology has made the ability to access anything within minutes or even seconds. 

Q9: Are you involved with an organizations? 

A: “I am. I have volunteered with Big Brother Big Sister. I am also a member of the Professional Photographers of America. I am the co-chair of the Downtown Effingham Business Group to provide sustainability and opportunity for shoppers to use or for our businesses to use, and the make the downtown area thrive.

FUN FACT: One terrific way Chet gives back to the community is that each year he will give one couple a free wedding photography. He chooses a couple that he feels is very deserving of this and feels that life has not given them a fair break. 

Piotrowski Studio Website

Check out Piotrowski Studio on Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

PRSSA – Info. & Benefits of Joining

Public Relations Student Society of America

PRSSA Photo Retrieved from Flickr – DePaul PRSSA

About: PRSSA is a society for college students that are in the communication or public relations field of study. There are currently over 300 chapters, with over 10,000 students in the organization. The organization has been around for nearly fifty years, helping students strive to be outstanding and the most professional in public relations. The cost to join the chapter is $60 each year. The parent organization of PRSSA is PRSA, Public Relations Society of America.

PRSSA is beneficial for students as they guide their members towards internships, competitions, awards, and leadership opportunities.  They are mentored to become professionals that employers are seeking to hire. Professionals are commonly able to connect with students involved with PRSSA because they too were members in during their college years.

Benefits: Individual scholarships are provided within PRSSA as well as awards, and leadership recognition.

PRSSA allows members across the country to connect with each other. There are 110 chapters.

PRSSA informs students on public relations and news updates, and keeps them updated on the most current trends within the industry. PRSSA is commonly used for networking students towards career goals and mentors. Chapters of PRSSA are sponsored and this allows the members to get a “real-life” insight on actual business meetings. This allows the students to also meet professionals within their industry, which could allow them to land a career following graduation.

PRSSA has a goal to help mold students into professionals of the communication and public relations industry.

Their mission is, “To provide exceptional service to our members by enhancing their education, broadening their professional network and helping launch their careers after graduation.” As PRSSA gives their members opportunities that most students would not be introduced to, they get a more professional edge in PR. Members are taught to be honest and fair, and are constantly enhancing their communication knowledge.

 

All information retreieved from http://prssa.prsa.org/about-prssa/

“5 Star” Steps to the Perfect Public Relations Campaign

 

Have you ever wondered what some of the m4686196974_fff891d2f6_nost effective precautions were to an outstanding pubic relations campaign? If so, here are five tips and tricks to whenever it comes to planning a memorable and honest public relations campaign. First thing’s first – find your objective. Once you have achieved that, you are ready to to follow these five steps.

Tip 1: According to findtheedge, you should always make sure that you are being “SMART.” Figure out the answers to SMART before you begin your campaign. This will help the process to run more smoothly.

Specific – What do you want to achieve?

Measurable – How will you measure it?

Achievable – How will you achieve it within your budget?

Realistic – Is what you want to achieve realistic within your resources? 

Timed – What time frame will you use? 

 

Tip 2: Focus on your targeted audience. Every decision that is made should be made in regards of  the audience you are targeting. It is important to learn the desires and needs that your audience has so that you will be able to address and fulfill them throughout the process. Communication is key – and communicating with your target audience/potential consumers is essential. Communication with them can be achieved through newspapers or via social media. After all, if your audience is not satisfied, your public relations campaign will more than likely fail.

Tip 3: Personal Branding – it works. In a highly competitive field with multiple businesses that offer the same services, it is crucial to stand out among your competitors. Promote the side of your business that stands out and is unique, an attribute that your competitors do not have. Be loyal to your brand, and allow consumers to be educated on your brand (this will help them to be more attracted to your business). Your public relations campaign will have an edge over the others if aspects of your business is incorporated.
Tip 4: Create a strategy with a schedule. Whenever planning a public relations campaign, it is important to have a set and organized timeline. This will allow you to have a planned out strategy to follow. Having a schedule will ensure that all press releases and social media postings are posted on time. Not only that, you will be able to come up with ideas in advance and put them out immediately.

Tip 5: Send press releases to more than one source. Always have multiple sources to send your press release to. There will always be a possibility that one source may not use your press release in their news. By having multiple different sources that you send your press releases and announcements to, will help secure that your information gets out to the public.

I hope that these 5 tips and tricks to a successful public relations campaign were helpful!

All tips and tricks were retrieved from http://www.findtheedge.com/marketing/9-steps-to-a-successful-pr-campaign 

Image Credit: Flickr, Creo Guetemala