Because Reputation Really Does Matter

07/11/2018

At Arch Communications we know how important reputation is. It’s our job to build and protect the reputation of our clients.

Every day there are examples of how this matters to business.

If you’ve seen today’s headlines you’ll have noticed that Ryanair recently dismissed six members of staff for ‘gross misconduct’ following a photo posted on social media earlier this year. Ryanair claimed:

“The photo led to media reports that damaged the company’s reputation and caused an irreparable breach of trust with these six persons.”

The picture appeared to show six members of cabin crew staff ‘sleeping on the floor’ following a flight diversion. Obviously this is awful… right? How can a multi-billion dollar airline justify leaving six of its hardworking staff without food, drink or even a place to sit?

We believe reputation can be looked at in three ways:

  • What you say
  • What you do
  • What others say about you

In this case Ryanair needed to manage quickly what others were saying about them.

The picture swept across social media like a wildfire (obviously) – burning Ryanair with every retweet, like and comment. The brand image was left damaged, leaving customers questioning if they’d use the airline again.

What would Arch recommend?

  • Assess the facts. Be sure your statement is well prepared, factually correct and leaves nothing open to interpretation.
  • Ensure the statement is issued to all appropriate channels. There’s no point fighting half a battle.
  • Take appropriate action as quickly as possible to avoid a similar issue happening again.

Ryanair have done all of the above in the hope of restoring customer faith.

By assessing the facts, the company challenged the suggestion that staff ‘slept on the floor’ (they actually spent the night in a VIP lounge at Malaga airport).

By issuing a clear statement to the national media, Ryanair is endeavouring to reach a significant number of people who may have been questioning their brand.

Dismissing staff is never done lightly by any employer. In this case, a key motivation for Ryanair in taking such action will have averting the risk of something similar happening in future.

If you feel your business would benefit from our expertise in crisis management or you need some help managing your reputation please get in touch!