JetBlue has had its share of advocates and defenders in the aftermath of its Valentine's Day Massacre. And one can argue all day long as to whether the airline did or didn't do things well, or whether it will or won't survive.
But one thing's not up for argument in my book: JetBlue's director of communications Jenny Dervin has some pretty unhelpful ideas about who to be blaming right now. Mainly, her choice quote from PRWeek's cover story:
"Those (PR) agencies that felt the need to contact our CEO and the corporate communications department directly, telling us exactly what we were doing wrong, were not helpful, and they are all going to go on a special list that I'm going to share with my colleagues in the PR industry, encouraging them never to do business with those companies."
Holy cow! Shades of the Nixon enemies list of the late 1960s and the Hollywood blacklists of the 1950s! I find it hard to believe that Dervin is threatening to hurt the reputations of any PR firms that called her, her office, or the CEO during the crisis. Aren't there more pressing matters at hand for her and her company?
That said, I sincerely hope that Dervin and JetBlue survive for a very long time. But keep in mind that the PR industry is a relatively small one, where everyone knows everyone else (or almost). Experience shows that people who go out of their way to hurt other people don't do well in our business (or most others).
Now I notice that Dervin has posted a response to her quotes on PRWeek's blog. Just like her airline, Jenny Dervin has recognized her initial mistake and has made amends.
Managing partner and cofounder
Peppercom, New York