CAMPAIGNS: Issues Management - JMC pushes health issue for air travel

Client: JMC Airlines, part of Thomas Cook AG

PR Team: In-house and JGPR

Campaign: JMC Airlines' 'Care in the Air' health programme

Timescale: January-April

Budget: Approx £40,000



Amid recent scares about deep venous thrombosis, JMC Airlines was

concerned that DVT, or clotting of the blood in the leg, had been

incorrectly labelled 'economy class syndrome' in the press. The chance

of contracting DVT is extremely low, and no scientific evidence has been

presented to directly link DVT with air travel any more than long coach,

train or car journeys.



Passenger health during air travel became a very important issue facing

the aviation industry. JMC Airlines agreed to take a leading role in

building brand awareness at national and regional level.



Objectives



To develop a customer-care programme within the UK and Europe and to use

the platform to gain media coverage.



Strategy and Plan



JMC and JGPR identified opportunities for JMC to take a leading role in

the issue. Experts in their fields, including Mr Motivator (ex-GMTV

presenter Derrick Evans,) and Dr John H Scurr, consultant vascular

surgeon at Middlesex Hospital, were used.



Launch releases and photos with Mr Motivator filming his 'new' exercise

programme for use onboard all JMC's aircraft were issued to media who

had covered DVT.



A 'Care in the Air' leaflet was mailed to 150,000 GPs and supporting

travel agents in the UK. Key spokespeople were made available to

broadcast and print media and trips for the press arranged to travel

with passengers and view the programme. A 'Care Line' was established

and launched together with a new 'health' section on JMCs website.

Leaflets covering the key facts to know before you travel are now issued

to passengers.



Measurement and Evaluation



Within 24 hours, almost every national and regional print media covered

the story. Sky, BBC News 24, BBC Watchdog Health Check, BBC Panorama,

and CNN all presented updated reports on JMC's healthcare programme.



Results



JMC was able to latch onto the media frenzy surrounding DTC, on the back

of expert opinion and advice tied to a strong customer care initiative.



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