It is apparent that Qantas Airlines troubles vary from external and unavoidable circumstances such as the abrupt engine breakdowns; to very avoidable cases of less strategic public communications department that is responsible for the upholding of the corporation’s image. From the study, there are three key issues affecting Qantas Airlines performance.
Poor Public Relations Strategy
Poorly timed public relations activities may lead to epic fails, especially when the company is going through turbulent times (Kim & Cha, 2013). Qantas Airlines decision to offer its online twitter participants a chance to win luxury pairs of Qantas pyjamas and amenity kits was so ill-advised at the moment when the company was down to its knees with challenges.
Poor Service Delivery
Qantas Airlines’ inconsistencies in service delivery have negatively affected the company’s brand name. Frequent engine breakdowns has become a common characteristic leading to travel delays and stranded passengers, a repetitive issue that has taken long to get rectified by the Airlines’ management leading to damages.
The Qantas Airlines’ apparent management failure to address its workers’ unions demands much earlier led to the grounding of the aircrafts and service delivery. The management’s slow reaction saw the airline lose $20 million per day, stranded passengers and competitors such as Virgin Air start gaining a competitive edge over them.
Recommended Future Remedies
Given the tabloid period Qantas Airlines has gone through, their prospective customers need to see something unique to regain their trust in the airline again. Therefore, embarking on rebranding is the only best way of staying relevant in the market (Advantage Communications, Inc). Secondly, the airline needs to engage in purposeful advertising, and aggressive marketing through all the media. Internet provides a good platform for this activity (Kostinsky, 2011); (Henderson & Bowley, 2010). Above all Qantas Airlines should invest in strengthened service delivery by obtaining new planes and engines that would reduce on mechanical drawbacks.
Important Factors to Consider When Using Social Media
Social media can make or break a business brand. One little perfect PR stunt, and your brand is all over flourishing, similarly one little PR blunder and your brand is torn down in to pieces by the social media users (Farzana, 2012); (Cha & Kim, 2010). Therefore some factors need to be considered in the use of social media. Firstly, one should consider the impact the social media would have on the business in gauging customer satisfaction (Cole, 2014). Secondly, the timing of the social media usage, which type of the social media e.g. Twitter or Facebook and lastly, the appropriateness of the message in regard to social media standards (Vocus Whitepaper).
Communication Course of Action for Qantas Airlines Management
Timing:- The most appropriate time for devising a message for Qantas Airline customers is when the Airline is resuming full operations after sorting out all of its setbacks. It would make more sense telling customers about that comeback they have been waiting for than engaging in promotional activities when your brand is wading through murky waters.
Audience:- The audience for this purposes are the prospective customers of Qantas Airline across Australia and other parts of the world. They include all the people from different social spectrum who would be glad using Qantas Airlines services.
Sender:- The message is best sent by the communications team, under the company’s airline’s name; Qantas Airlines for clarity purposes. The airline should own the message and the recipients must read the message as sent by Qantas Airlines not the communications team.
Key Message:- The main message should be the information about Qantas Airlines’ resuming to normal operations in even a better shape. It is what people want to hear the most. Promotional messages at the moment when the company is facing troubled times is only a recipe for negative criticism and backlash from the expectant customers.
Desired Outcome:- The target result for this communication process is to try and win back customers’ trust and change negative perceptions about Qantas Airlines brand. A communications blunder founded by the company’s failing management means that the airlines’ customers need something new from the management other than promotions. Hence the message should serve as the catalyst for change.
Medium:- Company’s official website would serve as the best medium, supported and spread by social media for wider reach. Press release is also important formal way of spreading the message. The wider reach of the message depends on the number of the media used. Using more than one medium will give the message a wider audience reach. Social media is a great communication channel just as important as the mainstream media in marketing.
Materials:- The message aims to get over the tabloid moments the Airline has gone through, leave all the mechanical setbacks, workers’ unions standoff and passenger delay as the troubles of the past. Qantas’ Airlines should look ahead for the future opportunities and try to move away from their past challenges as quickly as possible.
Frequency:- This message should be relayed as long as possible to ensure wider reach to wider audiences all over Australia and the world at large. Frequent relay of the message will give it a better reach, and will also contribute to its effectiveness. Persistent frequency increases the message’s impact on the recipient.
Advantage Communications, Inc. (n.d.). Rebranding: Connecting with Your Audience to Remain Relevant.
Cha, H., & Kim, C. (2010). A study on the development of corporate communication capital index. Korean Journal of Journalism and Communication, 57–86.
Cole, C. (2014). Social Media Best Practices for Non Profit Organizations. CCGHR.
Farzana, P. (2012). Impact Of Social Media Usage On Organizations . Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems . (PACIS).
Henderson, A., & Bowley, R. (2010). Authentic dialogue? The role of “friendship” in a social media recruitment campaign. Journal of Communication Management , 237-257.
Kim, R., & Cha, H. (2013). The Effect of Public Relations and Corporate Reputation on Return on Investment. Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal , 108-127.
Kostinsky, V. (2011). Online advertising as an innovative link advertising business structures. Tomsk: Tomsk University Press.
Vocus Whitepaper. (n.d.). Analyzing the Impact of Social Media: From Twitter to Facebook .