Yanan Sun (Nan)
In January 15, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 was down when this flight leavingNew York’sLaGuardiaAirportforCharlotte,North Carolina. Every passenger was safe. Before this crisis, James Olson joined into US Airways as Vice President, mainly control corporate communication. He also changed the company’s crisis communication plan. What’s more, James Olson holds a “tabletop drill.” It was a simulated catastrophic accident.
When the flight was down, US Airways faced so many problems. Numerous media updated the news rapidly, inevitability, some news were not truth or exaggerated. US Amirways must obtain the first hand information and confirmed this information. Moreover, the passengers need to rescue. Company had to come down the passengers’ mood and provided food and clothes. Besides, the family numbers must very worry about their love ones, company had to set up a way to serves family numbers. This crisis also can impact the future development of US Airways. Moreover, the customer will not trust US Airways, so that this company may loss many customers.
Facing this crisis, I think US Airways had much strength. Because this company very focus on corporation communication and have simulated the accident. I think the simulate accident was very important in this crisis, through the simulation, people can know the reaction time of company and clear every body’s assignment of responsibilities and duties. The numbers of Corporate Communication responded immediately, every person stop current thing to LaGuardia to deal with this crisis. And the Olson activated the emergency response plan immediately. It was an effective plan; everyone knows what should do clearly. James Olson also said that their goal was the initial news release should go out within 15 minutes of a crisis. In my opinion, because of the preparation, the company wins more strength in this crisis.
However, there is some weakness in US Airways. To make sure the truth of information and to find proves, US Airways can not issue the message immediately. If company does not obtain the accurate information of reasons and current situations, it can not prove any message to public. At this time, public really want know more about crisis, so some media issue wrong facts. Some media only quest to be first than factual. Public will believe these wrong facts and the image of company will be destroyed. Even though, this emergency response plan was very useful, the situations can not same every time. So, company should not just relay on this template, the company should according to the situation to change plan.
This crisis also brings some opportunities for US Airways. This crisis not very seriously, and company can remedy it. US Airways made a response in 30 minutes. And send many employees to help passengers, include book hotel rooms, and buy clothing, and so on. I think the good serve can maintain the image of company even increase the image. The follow-up service also did very well; they have one year anniversary activities. After this crisis, the company will be having experience to salve this kind crisis.
On the other hand, the threats can not be ignored. The threats mainly came from competitors and media. As the book said, media often issue some wrong news. Moreover, media like to invite some “non-expert expert” to analysis crisis. Public like to believe the comments of these “non-expert expert”. Public need a reason, so media like to make a reason. Therefore, the image of company will be affected. Another threat is competitors, competitors will be learning a lesson from this crisis, and maybe other competitors increase the safe of flight and advertise the safety of flight. Therefore, company may loss some customers.
The strategies of US Aieways are response immediately and prove good service. US Airways put its customers and media website dedicated to this crisis within 30 minutes of notification of the accident. The first news release was issued in 45 minutes. Almost every day, the company will issue the new announcement and do their best to satisfied the require of customers. From these activities, this company has high efficiency. Of course, the result of this crisis is settled satisfactorily. The public thought US Airways did very well in this crisis, and some parsonages also upload videos to You Tube. After this crisis, US Airways also summary the experience. From the book, we can see the lessons learned list of James Olson, include be prepared, be fast, be accessible, be engaged and be compassionate. What’s more, after this crisis, the company became more unite.
In my opinion, I am very admiring the foresight of James Olson; he can change the old things and nip in the bud. People always said prevention is better than cure, but seldom people can did. Moreover, I also esteem the attitude of US Airways, when the crisis happen, this company do not try to conceal the facts, lie to public or pass the buck. The leaders of US Airways go to the scene directly and issue the news after obtains certainly factors. After the crisis, company also summary the work and obtain experience from crisis. I think many Chinese companies should learn from US Airways.