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Malaysia Airlines: Responding to Crisis

“Malaysia Airlines is currently working with the authorities who have activated their Search and Rescue team to locate the aircraft. Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected passengers and crew and their family members. The airline will provide regular updates on the situation.” This quote by Malaysia Airlines Chief Executive Officer, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, exemplifies the proper way to address the media during crisis. Below are four strategic steps that Malaysia Airlines took after the disappearance of flight MH370 that companies can model if they are faced with a similar crisis:

1)  Your CEO should be the face of your crisis

The public wants to hear from the top of your organization during times of adversity. Placing the head of your company in the spotlight when crisis strikes, shows your company cares and is doing everything in their power to turn adversity into advantage.

2)  Post only about the crisis on social media

Let your audience know that your main concern is resolving the problem. When faced with a crisis, fixing the situation and rebuilding trust should not only be at the top of your priority list, it should be your only priority.

3)  Implement a dark site to your proactive crisis strategy

A dark site is a micro-site that is created ahead of time and held offline until needed. When launched, a dark site updates your audience on the crisis at hand, keeping them informed as updates arrive.

4)  Create a family/friends only phone line for support

Malaysia Airlines implemented a phone line for grieving friends and family members of victims. Doing so lent comfort to those affected, and showed that they genuinely care about the situation.

Given this is a very unique situation involving a large number of people, businesses can take these strategies and alter them to fit their own crisis management plan. Having a proactive approach to crisis can assist in saving your company and its reputation.

 

For more information regarding crisis management, do not hesitate to contact the Fallston Group at 410.420.2001 or by email at info@fallstongroup.com.

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