Southwest leading comms around AirTran acquisition

DALLAS: Southwest Airlines is leading communications around its acquisition of AirTran Holdings, parent company of AirTran Airways, with help from PR agency Dix & Eaton.

DALLAS: Southwest Airlines is leading communications around its acquisition of AirTran Holdings, parent company of AirTran Airways, with help from PR agency Dix & Eaton. The companies announced the $1.4 billion acquisition today with a press release, a press conference live-streamed on Facebook, and investor and analyst outreach.

"We have reached out to employees, media, our stakeholders, and shareholders," said Ashley Dillon, communications specialist for Southwest. "We want to make sure everyone feels involved and everyone has the information they need."

Southwest, which is well-known for its social media outreach, is also using Twitter and Facebook to communicate the news.

"Being on that space is part of who we are," Dillon said. The company used U-Stream to live-stream its press conference on Facebook and has a LowFaresFarther.com website about the acquisition.

AirTran is directing all media requests to Southwest, which is leaning on Dix & Eaton for general PR and communications support.

"The message is very general about the acquisition and how both airlines are excited about the possibilities here," Dillon said.

Communications is focused on media relations, and answering questions about specific airports and services, Dillon added. The message focuses on the similarities between the two low-cost airlines, and how the cultures and similar services will allow for a seamless integration.

There will not be any information about how the acquisition will affect the companies' communications team until the acquisition is final, Dillon added.

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