Public Relations Takes Flight

May 13, 2016

 

This past week has taken me through many airports back and forth from Memphis where I had the opportunity to fully experience the PR masterpiece that is Delta Airlines. Although there are many individuals who do not prefer Delta for their checked baggage fees and their high-priced tickets, we cannot ignore the fact that they have a rocking PR strategy. From the moment you step onto a Delta flight, you experience nothing but the most high quality PR tactics. The tactics that had the most impact is the customized videos for each flight. These short videos are essentially meant to replace the flight attendants safety speeches, which we all know can sometimes be less than exciting or hard to hear. The videos Delta has come up with begin with a short message from the CEO of Delta, followed by a humorous and attention-grabbing safety instructional. It is all finished up with a short thank you by a variety of Delta employees.

 

It is obvious here that Delta was experiencing a problem: How to get passengers to pay attention and engage with pre-flight safety instructions?

 

Their solution was flawless to say the least. Not only do these videos seem personal to the flight considering they each have specific instructions for the different types of aircraft, but they also are aired on each passenger’s personal seat-back monitor, which adds to the personal experience.

 

One of the main goals that I think Delta accomplished here was building trust between their organization and their customers. This specifically comes into play where they have a message from the CEO. There is something about the individual stakeholder or customer having a seemingly direct line to the person in charge of it all that makes you feel more trust to the organization as a whole. You think to yourself “Wow, he seems like a really put together guy who knows what he is doing,” and because of that, the same trust is transferred into his employees – the pilots, flight attendants, and more.

 

Although some people might argue that using a screen as an alternative to a flight attendant speaking and giving physical examples is less personal, I think that the increased attention given to the video clips is worth the cost of personal engagement. Their top priority is the safety and comfort of their passengers, and I think Delta accomplishes that.

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