American Airlines calmly handles celebrity blow-up

By defending itself and FAA guidelines on social media, American Airlines kept this crisis from getting too high off the ground.

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His name was Alec Baldwin. After he got kicked off, he tweeted:

“Flight attendant on American reamed me out 4 playing WORDS W FRIENDS while we sat at the gate, not moving. #nowonderamericanairisbankrupt”

His tweet reached 5 million people.

Within five minutes of his tweet, American Airlines responded and launched its own campaign to garner the support of fans and followers. Its goal: Show that no matter who the passenger, he or she should comply with FAA rules and not act inappropriately toward the cabin crew.

For this speedy response and for swaying public opinion to American’s favor, we declare Weber Shandwick for American Airlines the winner in the “Best Crisis Management” category of PR Daily’s Digital PR and Social Media Awards.

PR Daily’s 2012 Digital PR and Social Media Awards were presented by Synaptic Digital. Learn more about Synaptic Digital here (pdf).

The plan

The American Airlines social media team created a plan before Baldwin’s remarks could influence more people. These were the three goals:

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