Just a quick follow up/edit after my last post on Malaysia Airlines’ approach to crisis communications. After the previous post on how they communicated following the disappearance of MH370 the airline have found themselves in the unenviable place of having no information to share. The vacuum swiftly became all-encompassing, and the distressed families soon became the centre of global attention.
Coupled with the geo-political dynamics involved, the airline has inevitably taken second place to Government communications.
There is still no sign of the stricken plane. Clearly it’s a tragedy for those involved, but I stand by my original assertion – that at least in the first 48 hours-72 hours after the plane originally went missing, Malaysia Airlines ran a textbook crisis communications operation.
Since then though, it’s not been so good at all. There has been inconsistency between Government and the airline, but the worst aspect has been how the families were treated – particularly hearing things after the media had been told, and in some cases, hearing them by text.
The airline and/or Governments involved should always plan communications to people most immediately affected by an incident first. Only then should the media be involved.
All of the parties involved in this tragedy were quick off the blocks in the first day or two after the aircraft's disappearance, but - even with little information to pass on, the lessons are clear for others to learn from,