Budget airline JetBlue, still smarting over the collapse of its operations in the wake of an ice storm in mid-February, made some smart PR moves to regain public confidence in the company. As bad as the buzz is about JetBlue’s mishandling of flight delays and stranded passengers, the CEO’s visibility and its public statements after the fact follow the directives for smart crisis management.
Say you’re sorry: JetBlue CEO David Neeleman apologized and then some. Neeleman didn’t hide behind a spokesperson, but instead offered his own mea culpa, appearing on nearly every major news network, and talking to major dailies, saying that he was “humiliated and mortified” by the crisis that left passengers stranded all over the country. Neeleman didn’t try to blame it all on the weather, and he talked directly about the suffering the airline caused to its passengers. Kudos goes to Neeleman for taking the blame and speaking in human terms about the crisis.