Sunday,August 20 2017
Malaysia Airlines - small and sensitive steps will deliver a stronger reputation recovery

Many may think Malaysia Airlines has featured in the news enough over the last year. Nonetheless, it seems that the carrier is intent on continuing to court controversy. After two deadly disasters in the last six months, the airline this week launched its new social media activation, ‘My Ultimate Bucket List’. There was an immediate barrage of criticism, attacking the company for poor taste in launching a campaign that asked customers what they want to do before they die. After the initial outcry, the airline changed the language of the campaign, from ‘Bucket List’ to ‘To-do List’. However, this was not sufficient to stem the accusations of insensitivity, and yesterday the company withdrew the campaign altogether.

MAA

From a reputational standpoint, there is inevitably a risk for any airline in deciding when and how to re-enter positive communications and campaigns after a tragedy has happened. It is important for long term corporate health and growth for a company to be seen to move on from a time of trouble. However, customers and influencers are only likely to accept and endorse such a company move if it is executed in a sensitive manner that demonstrates understanding and learning from previous events. Even when the open wound of a crisis begins to heal, the scar can remain visible for months or years afterwards, and this should be a consideration in the tone and content of all communications.

When the crisis phase has passed and a company embarks on reputation rebuild, this is the time when crisis counsel can deliver most value. The company and its agency network may begin to develop new creative approaches, but all external content should be reviewed in advance for vulnerabilities and challenges. A part of the company’s learning from a time of crisis should be reflected in the future path it treads between creativity and caution; the path between ‘Why not?’ and ‘What if?’

Malaysia Airlines has made a small mistake, which has resulted in nothing more than a glitch compared to the major tragedies it has encountered in recent months. The airline was quick to realise its mistake and has acted quickly to change and withdraw the campaign. Moreover, when judging a company’s post-crisis behaviours, we should also remember that any company will have a natural propensity to draw a line and try not to look back after a serious problem. Major tragedies take business leaders out of their comfort zones and it is counter-intuitive to re-engage with former crises once the storm has passed. However, businesses with a genuine desire to learn and recover should keep one eye on its previous problems to ensure it can mitigate future challenges before they arise.

David Carter / Head of Issues & Crisis

Share on
  • ABOUT US

    Ogilvy Public Relations drives influence at scale to effect change.

    We believe that to deliver commercial value and demonstrable change, we need to drive influence at an ever increasing scale. That means we encourage bigger, simple thinking to drive better results, by fostering a culture of permissive creativity, aggressive curiosity and smart collaboration.

    Ogilvy Public Relations/London is PRCA Large Consultancy of the Year 2013 + 2014

    Ogilvy Public Relations is the Holmes Report 2014 EAME Agency of the Year

    Ogilvy Public Relations is No1 in the Holmes Report 2013 + 2014 Global Creative Index

    OgilvyPR_Logos

     

    FOLLOW US: @OgilvyPRLondon

    INSTAGRAM US AT: OgilvyPRLondon

    VINE US AT: Ogilvy PR London

     

  • CONTACT US

    OGILVY PR LONDON
    Sea Containers, 18 Upper Ground, London, SE1 9RQ
    T: +44 (0) 20 3193 3000
    E: info@ogilvyprlondon.com

    For all new business enquiries, please contact:
    E: A.burns@ogilvy.com
    T: +44 (0) 7973673074

     
  • WHAT WE DO

    Our core offerings include:

    • BRAND MARKETING
    • MEDIA RELATIONS
    • SOCIAL MEDIA
    • B2B COMMUNICATIONS
    • INFLUENCER RELATIONS
    • CORPORATE REPUTATION
    • STRATEGY+ PLANNING
    • CONTENT CREATION

     

  • DIRECTIONS

    By Bike: 
    Dock your Bike at Milroy Walk, a 3 minute walk from Sea Containers
    By Tube:
    The nearest tube is Southwark (Jubilee Line), an 8 minute walk from Sea Containers. Alternatively Waterloo (Jubilee, Northern, Bakerloo & Waterloo & City) is 15 minutes walk.
    By Car:
    There is limited car parking near Sea Containers, if you wish to arrive by car please let us know.
    By Bus:
    There are many bus routes that operate around Sea Containers. We advise either using Google Maps or Transport For London’s journey planner to find the best route from your start point to our office.
    By Plane:
    London City Airport is only 40 minutes away via the Jubilee line and DLR (change at Poplar). Other major airports within one hour from Canary Whard are Heathrow and Gatwick.

    WORK FOR US

    Been tempted by what you’ve seen and want to be part of one of our world-class practices? To find out more on current opportunities please click here or send your CV and covering letter to Sara.Walpole@ogilvy.com
     
  • Site map

  • ABOUT US

    Ogilvy Public Relations drives influence at scale to effect change.

    We believe that to deliver commercial value and demonstrable change, we need to drive influence at an ever increasing scale. That means we encourage bigger, simple thinking to drive better results, by fostering a culture of permissive creativity, aggressive curiosity and smart collaboration.

    Ogilvy Public Relations/London is PRCA Large Consultancy of the Year 2013 + 2014

    Ogilvy Public Relations is the Holmes Report 2014 EAME Agency of the Year

    Ogilvy Public Relations is No1 in the Holmes Report 2013 + 2014 Global Creative Index

    OgilvyPR_Logos

     

    FOLLOW US: @OgilvyPRLondon

    INSTAGRAM US AT: OgilvyPRLondon

    VINE US AT: Ogilvy PR London

     

  • WHAT WE DO

    Our core offerings include:

    • BRAND MARKETING
    • MEDIA RELATIONS
    • SOCIAL MEDIA
    • B2B COMMUNICATIONS
    • INFLUENCER RELATIONS
    • CORPORATE REPUTATION
    • STRATEGY+ PLANNING
    • CONTENT CREATION
  • CONTACT US

    OGILVY PR LONDON
    Sea Containers, 18 Upper Ground, London, SE1 9RQ
    T: +44 (0) 20 3193 3000
    E: info@ogilvyprlondon.com

    For all new business enquiries, please contact:
    E: A.burns@ogilvy.com
    T: +44 (0) 7973673074

  • DIRECTIONS

    By Bike: 
    Dock your Bike at Milroy Walk, a 3 minute walk from Sea Containers
    By Tube:
    The nearest tube is Southwark (Jubilee Line), an 8 minute walk from Sea Containers. Alternatively Waterloo (Jubilee, Northern, Bakerloo & Waterloo & City) is 15 minutes walk.
    By Car:
    There is limited car parking near Sea Containers, if you wish to arrive by car please let us know.
    By Bus:
    There are many bus routes that operate around Sea Containers. We advise either using Google Maps or Transport For London’s journey planner to find the best route from your start point to our office.
    By Plane:
    London City Airport is only 40 minutes away via the Jubilee line and DLR (change at Poplar). Other major airports within one hour from Canary Whard are Heathrow and Gatwick.

    WORK FOR US

    Been tempted by what you’ve seen and want to be part of one of our world-class practices? To find out more on current opportunities please click here or send your CV and covering letter to Sara.Walpole@ogilvy.com