Experts give ‘indifferent’ Boeing poor marks for crisis response
The aircraft manufacturer lost public trust after two deadly crashes were tied to missing safety features and shoddy disclosure about software updates. Its messaging hasn’t helped matters.
An organization can almost always bounce back from bad news—as long as the crisis response rings true.
Two crashes of Boeing’s new 737 Max aircraft occurred within six months and were linked to undisclosed software updates and missing safety features. Despite these tandem disasters, communications experts say the company could have salvaged its reputation.
Instead, industry insiders are giving the aircraft manufacturer a failing grade.
Helio Fred Garcia, a crisis management professor at New York University and Columbia University and president of crisis management firm Logos Consulting Group, told Business Insider: “Trust didn’t fall because two of its plane crashes. Trust fell because they were seen to be indifferent.”
That Muilenburg apologized for the company’s role in the crashes was a good step for the company, Garcia said. “They said, ‘We’re on it, we apologize, we take it seriously, we’re on the scene.’ They got that right.”
But the apology video, he said, came too late, and the pre-recorded video format distributed through social media and news networks may not have helped.
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