BA in PR pitch to boost consumer reputation

British Airways is set to draft in a consumer PR agency as it bids to boost its image among the travelling public.

The airline, whose reputation was tarnished by its August flight cancellation

fiasco, will stage a pitch within weeks to hire an agency on a retained contract that could have fees of around £300,000.

Iain Burns, head of corporate comms at BA – which is in the throes of a major cost-cutting and rationalisation programme – said the agency would handle mostly media relations to boost the airline’s image by promoting the ‘innovative’ ways it is attempting to improve customer service.

Burns said: ‘It’s no secret that BA has spent the past three years focused on cost reductions – and surviving the most challenging period in the history of aviation.

‘Despite this, BA has continued to invest in innovative products and services, such as self-service kiosks,’ he added.

Burns said the agency will be expected to produce ‘creative and invigorating’ ideas, ‘build on the strength of the BA brand’ and ‘provide strategic counsel’, working alongside BA’s in-house team. He added that fees have yet to be decided.

BA has previously used Jackie Cooper PR and the former Joe Public Relations on consumer PR projects. Its contract with Brunswick, which provides corporate and City PR advice, is unaffected.

Thousands of passengers were stranded at Heathrow in August because of BA staff shortages.

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