BA can come out of strike crisis as the 'good guys', PR experts claim

British Airways can come across to the public as the 'good guys' by emphasising it is doing all it can to help the public through the strike planned for this Christmas, according to PR experts.

Strike action: BA staff
Strike action: BA staff

Almost a million BA passengers face Christmas travel chaos after the airline's cabin crew voted yesterday for a 12-day strike over the Christmas period.
 
BA chief executive Willie Walsh condemned the proposed strike as ‘senseless' and refused to reverse the cabin crew cuts at the heart of the dispute.
 
Insignia Communications founder Jonathan Hemus said that by striking through Christmas the cabin crew have become the ‘pantomime villain' in the story.
 
‘What BA needs to do is capitalise on that by reinforcing its position as the good guys, doing what it can to alleviate the public's suffering through Christmas,' said Hemus.
 
But Porter Novelli head of crisis Neil Bayley said BA needed to keep the public updated as much as possible, but warned BA not to get involved in a negotiation through the media.
 
Bayley said: ‘The most important thing is its attention towards the audiences who are most likely to resolve the situation - that's the unions. It needs to stay close to them – ­ it would be unwise to get involved in playing the negotiation through the media.
 
‘At this stage it is very difficult to not get embroiled when journalists are asking questions to get behind the story. It needs to deal with this by showing it is more interested in resolving the situation than winning political points.'

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