It now seems that the well-known Australian carrier Qantas Airways has been attacked via Twitter. This happened after the company attempted a very ‘ill-timed’ public relations campaign on the social-networking site. The company launched a competition which did nothing more than backfire in their face. Now, the company has drawn in thousands of very angry responses.
Qantas Airways, on Tuesday, actually invited users to a micro-blogging site to enter a new “Qantas Luxury” competition. To take part, people had to describe their dream luxury in-flight experience. Whoever won the competition would win a pair of Qantas first-class pajamas and a toiletries kit.
The competition seems fun enough, so why was everyone so angry? Apparently, people were upset because they said the competition was ill-timed. In fact, the competition came just a day-after Qantas and its unions broke off contract negotiations. Not only that, but it came just after Qantas grounded its fleet in late October. When the airline grounded its flights, it left thousands of people stranded and very angry.
Experts of public relations said that this was possibly the biggest “epic fail” in the history of PR in Australia. Once again, it shows the dangers and the unpredictability of using social media to generate positive press. People are never sure just how people are going to react in certain situations.
Peter Clark, who is a social media commentator, said that this is an epic PR fail. He went on to say that it is an excellent case study in corporate cultural tone deafness. It shows that Qantas simply does not get it.
One expert said that the airline was truly blind to how bad they have scorned people. Many travelers are hurt and angry with the airline. Did the carrier truly think that throwing some pajamas and loo supplies at people was going to fix things?
It is pretty easy to see why people are upset when reading some of the comments that were posted on the blog. One Twitter user, Daniel Angus, said that Qantas luxury meant being stranded on the other side of the world without warning. It meant that they were not able to get home to their 10-month-old daughter.
Another angry passenger said that their perfect luxury trip would be a flight leaving on time and not being canceled at the last second. The perfect trip would involve the airline actually caring how their consumers felt. Passengers are not just a number, they are human beings. It is easy to see that thousands of people were left stranded. Each one of these people has a life that they were unable to get back to thanks to Qantas.
Last week, Qantas hired four social media monitors to keep tabs on everything that people were saying about them on Facebook and Twitter after the fleet was grounded. The carrier has promised a very generous compensation for stranded passengers.
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