MWW will oversee the international airline's communications for any kind of catastrophic event, as well as provide media training to executives and general managers of airports, said Todd Burke, JetBlue VP of corporate communications, who declined to disclose the budget.
“Our goal is to have them trained and prepared as possible in dealing with media," Burke said. 'It's an investment, which will continue to bring back [dividends].”
Matthew Rose, EVP and head of the corporate communications practice for MWW, added that the agency will “run a series of scenario-based media training exercises for spokespeople in each of their markets, beginning next month.”
Rose said the agency is putting “resources in place to support [JetBlue] on the ground and in each of their 53 markets should [an] incident arise,” during its 18-month contract.
JetBlue chose the agency after a competitive review, because “MWW's culture was similar to ours, and they really understood us," Burke noted. "We disagreed on some points, but in the process we got to see how we would work on a daily basis. Their respectful pushback was great.”
Burke declined to name the other agencies that pitched in what was an "at most two-round review."
Although the airline has never before partnered with a crisis communications agency, Jenny Dervin,
JetBlue director of communications, told PRWeek last month that, “We felt it was time to add professional experience to our staff, and because it was just good business.”
The airline is also growing. Since 2006, it has added more than16 new destinations, Burke said.
“As we've grown from a small organization to one that is much more global, there's more opportunity for things to go wrong and [we] needed [an agency] to help,” he said.