CAMPAIGNS: Consumer PR - easyJet gets Europe flying after tragedy

Client: easyJet

PR Team: In-house

Campaign: Let's get Europe flying again!

Timescale: September - ongoing

Budget: Within departmental budget



Following the tragic events of 11 September, passenger bookings at all

airlines declined. While other airlines announced cutbacks and even

bankruptcy, easyJet has actively sought to get people flying again.



Objectives



To reverse the dramatic, industry-wide fall in bookings following the 11

September events. To seek to be reallocated to those airport take-off

and landing slots that had been frozen as a result of other airlines'

cutbacks.



Strategy and Plan



easyJet's campaign has involved the promotion of an online sale with

prices slashed for a weekend. Prices remained low as a concerted press

advertising and media relations drive was rolled out.



To handle this, the in-house department grew by one person to three. All

communications capitalised on easyJet's informal branding and the

high-profile nature of the company's management.



At the same time a public affairs campaign that aimed to get more runway

slots out of Heathrow and Gatwick was launched, with letters to

organisations such as the European Transport Commission and the Civil

Aviation Authority.



Media appearances by easyJet spokespeople were used to explain that

major airlines were in difficulty before the crisis and that low-cost

operators held a strong position in Europe.



Measurement and Evaluation



The airline has now stabilised bookings with a return to pre-11

September levels.



On the company's website, a passenger survey about the company's

reaction to the events showed 90 per cent in favour.



Results



easyJet's small PR team ran a straightforward campaign that supported

the business at a difficult time.



It shrewdly used the company's existing 'people's champion' image to

good effect.



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