Bmibaby uses web to fight Ryanair

Budget airline bmibaby is overhauling its online PR in a bid to stand apart from rivals Ryanair and easyJet.

The low-cost carrier, a subsidiary of British Midland Airways, has brought in digital specialist Immediate Future as its first online PR agency. The airline also has plans to relaunch its website in the near future.

Immediate Future MD Katy Howell said: 'Bmibaby wants to differentiate itself from other low-cost airlines by becoming actively involved and creating conversations with its customers online.'

Among bmibaby's rivals, Ryanair in particular has been criticised for not communicating well online. In February it caused outrage in the blogosphere when spokesman Stephen McNamara responded to a blogger by saying: 'It is Ryanair policy not to waste time and energy in corresponding with idiot bloggers.'

Immediate Future will be assisting bmibaby with social networking programmes and blogger press trips. It will also work on creating online content for the airline, including videos and podcasts.

Bmibaby's goal is to use social media and online campaigns to engage with its consumers.

The airline already has a Twitter account, which it uses to give travellers tips and create discussions about its various destinations.

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