Malaysia Airlines: Hardest PR Job Jackie Crossman Has Ever Done

Malaysia Airlines: Hardest PR Job Jackie Crossman Has Ever Done
SHARE
THIS



Rebuilding trust in an airline that has had two horrific tragedies in the space of a few months is a PR mission not many would want to tackle.

“You’d have to say the challenge was the most unenviable in the world,” said Jackie Crossman, CEO of Crossman Communications, the PR company tasked with rebuilding trust in Malaysia Airlines in Australia and New Zealand after the twin tragedies.

“It’s very rare that any PR professional will be faced one such tragedy, let alone two.”

Crossman agreed it was one of the hardest things she’s done in her PR career. “The pressure was intense.”

What happens straight after such a tragedy is always a crucial time. Crossman said her and the team came on board just after the disappearance of MH370 – the Malaysia Airlines flight that disappeared on March 8, 2014 and has since not been recovered. The second tragedy occurred July 17, 2014 when Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine.

“There is a period of time where it’s appropriate to have a moratorium on all marketing communications,” explained Crossman. “But clearly the business has to go on, appreciating you have to be respectful to the victims and their families and that has to be the major consideration.”

It’s a very delicate line to tread, admitted Crossman, “because we had to blend sensitivity with creativity to ensure we had cut-through and acceptance”.

“It was very difficult. It was a big challenge at the end of the day.”

In order to achieve this fine line, the team believed the best approach was advocacy, an approach Crossman Communications was awarded for at the PRWeek Awards Asia early this week.

“What we were doing was focusing on advocacy,” explained Crossman. “Our goal really was to mobilise third party support and encourage respected media outlets to champion the brand and in doing so, regain the faith with customers and rebuild trust.

“We endeavoured to fill an information void with constant updates as well as a stream of positive news because clearly, at the time, there was a backdrop of grief, conspiracy theories, intense media scrutiny, all exacerbated by the fact that Australia was coordinating the MH370 search.

“It was a very, very complex situation and adding to that were cultural and time-zone differences as well,” she said, including the restructuring of the brand internally and numerous other distractions.

Crossman Communications also enlisted the help of celeb chef Poh Ling Yeow and tennis star Nick Kyrgios as ambassadors of the brand.

The approach appears to be working, according to Crossman. In February, the Australian Government’s International Airline Activity report showed Malaysia Airlines passenger numbers in and out of Australia were up 7.8 per cent up on the same month last year – with Crossman noting that was actually the month prior to MH370, which disappeared in March.

“There’s a lot of work to be done,” said Crossman. “You don’t rebuild a reputation in a matter of months. But what we have done has clearly worked.”

When asked whether Malaysia Airlines will ever get back to where it was, where the tragedies aren’t the first or second thought about the airline, Crossman is confident the brand will make it back.

“Because Malaysia Airlines is still a very good airline.”

 

Latest News

M&C Saatchi Launches THIS Film Studio
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

M&C Saatchi Launches THIS Film Studio

M&C Saatchi Group has partnered with documentary makers, writers, producers and digital content pioneers Michael Lawrence (left in photo) and Nicholas Cook (right in photo) to launch film and television production studio THIS. Lawrence and Cook have established an enviable track record creating story-driven content and feature documentaries based on The Human Indomitable Spirit (THIS) […]

The ‘Business Of Busyness’: How Productivity Keeps Us From Preparing For The Future
  • Opinion

The ‘Business Of Busyness’: How Productivity Keeps Us From Preparing For The Future

Jeff Schwisow is a Melbourne-based strategy specialist, speaker and the author of Projectify – How to use projects to engage your people in strategy that evolves your business. In this guest post, he argues that our obsession with being busy right now is what’s holding us back from planning our futures tomorrow… To survive in today’s […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Host/Havas Creative Chief Darren Spiller To Depart
  • Advertising

Host/Havas Creative Chief Darren Spiller To Depart

Creative agency Host/Havas has announced that its chief creative officer, Darren Spiller, will be leaving the agency. Spiller joined Host as its chief creative officer in January last year and then assumed the same role when the agency merged with Havas in October 2017. Host/Havas has received of a long list of creative accolades this […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Creative Agency Launch Project Management Tool Hassl
  • Media
  • Technology

Creative Agency Launch Project Management Tool Hassl

Yesterday at TedX Melbourne the team behind award-winning Melbourne based agency Your Creative launched their new tech venture Hassl, the project management platform taking on Trello and the likes. With the belief there was a better design solution to project management, the platform has been developed over the last two years in collaboration with their […]

ABC Axes Tom Ballard’s Tonightly
  • Media

ABC Axes Tom Ballard’s Tonightly

It's one of the ABC's edgier, controversial shows, but Tom Ballard's proven too edgy and controversial for ABC chiefs.

Taboola Strengthens APAC Programmatic Offering With New Partnership
  • Advertising
  • Media

Taboola Strengthens APAC Programmatic Offering With New Partnership

Global discovery platform Taboola has announced a strategic partnership with Wider Planet, Korea’s largest demand-side and data management platform. The partnership builds on Taboola’s programmatic efforts in Asia-Pacific, and will bring together Korea’s largest demand platform for agencies and brands to provide access to Taboola’s global audience through premium publisher placements. The partnership means advertisers […]

The Haus Picks Up Two New Clients
  • Marketing

The Haus Picks Up Two New Clients

The Haus announces two new client wins. Admittedly, not as good as winning three, but far better than losing four.

businessman using tablet PC and information communication technology concept. IoT(Internet of Things). GUI(graphical user interface). paperless office.
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Smartly: The Future Of Martech Is Automated

Automated ad buying platform, Smartly was at the centre of the tech innovation stage at the Online Retailer conference 2018. Smartly head of ANZ Marta Bonzanini (pictured below) discussed the integral role automation plays in the future of marketers and creatives. “If an ad is not performing as well as planned, you probably have some […]

Messenger Launches Video Chat AR Games
  • Technology

Messenger Launches Video Chat AR Games

For the moments when we can’t be together IRL, Messenger video chat helps you connect in real-time with the people you care about most. Chatting face-to-face live makes all the difference when you have exciting news to share, you need a study buddy for a big test, or you simply want to pass the time […]

Sphere Wins Stockdale And Leggo
  • Media

Sphere Wins Stockdale And Leggo

Sphere snares Stockdale & Leggo business, which is a real estate group & not a simmer sauce as first reported on B&T.

Aussie AgTech Start-Up Leads Global Farming Innovation
  • Technology

Aussie AgTech Start-Up Leads Global Farming Innovation

With Aussie farmers facing so many challenges, could the answer be Blockchain technology? Ranking top 10 at this year’s Overseas Talent Entrepreneurial Conference (OTEC), pitching against 32 other start-ups from around the world, Aussie start-up Agunity are leading AgTech innovation. Having won the right to represent Australia during Investible’s nation-wide pitch competition, AgUnity took to […]

Women In Media Profile: Carolyn Bollaci
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Carolyn Bollaci

Facebook's Carolyn Bollaci is the latest to sup at B&T's truth serum we prefer to call our Women in Media profiles.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Vic Govt Unveils ‘Tafe + Jobs’ Via Fuel Agency
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Vic Govt Unveils ‘Tafe + Jobs’ Via Fuel Agency

The Fuel Agency has launched the new ‘TAFE + Jobs’ campaign, aimed to promote and drive applications and enrolments for courses starting in 2019 There’s a lot happening in Victoria, with record investment in road and rail projects, and in the health, community and disability sectors. As a result, there’s greater demand for skilled workers. […]

Rakuten Marketing Appoints New CEO
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Rakuten Marketing Appoints New CEO

Rakuten has a new CEO. However, judging by the tired handshake photo, B&T doesn't have any new ways of illustrating it.

Why Consumers Block Your Advertising
  • Advertising
  • Opinion

Why Consumers Block Your Advertising

Who better to explain why your ads are getting blocked than a real ad blocking expert. As B&T has done right here.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Women In Media Profile: Jackie Crossman
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Jackie Crossman

B&T has spared no expense with today's top Women in Media profile, save for suit hire, corsage and dry-cleaning.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Kantar certified by Google as a verified Measurement Partner
  • Technology

Kantar certified by Google as a verified Measurement Partner

The announcement designates Kantar as an approved third-party measurement provider for brands looking to verify their media spend performance on Google owned platforms. Kantar is approved globally to provide both Brand Lift Insights for evaluation of brand impact from campaigns and for independent measurement of audience reach from campaigns on Google properties. Kantar CEO Eric […]

THIS
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Final Call! B&T Late Entries Close Today!

B&T Award entries officially close at 5pm today! Good news if you've almost finished, bad news if you haven't started.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Australian Women’s 15s World Cup Bid Kicks Off
  • Campaigns

Australian Women’s 15s World Cup Bid Kicks Off

“It’s 2018”, is something you hear a lot when you talk to the players, coaching staff and fans involved in Rugby AU’s bid for the ‘Rugby World Cup Women’s 2021’ tournament. There is this sense that they are not only ready for a greater stage, but raring to go. As one player said “Ready?! We’re […]

Aussie Silk Brand Harnesses Kardashian Marketing Power
  • Marketing

Aussie Silk Brand Harnesses Kardashian Marketing Power

Shhh Silk is an Australian brand that quickly grew in popularity among celebrities like Gisele Bündchen and Kim Kardashian West. Shhh Silk has just received a $1.8 million order from a very large brand in the US, and CEO Olivia Carr’s projections is for this to be a $50 million business in five years’ time. […]

SaaS Player Taps oOh!media Chairman Tony Faure To Lead Its Board
  • Media
  • Technology

SaaS Player Taps oOh!media Chairman Tony Faure To Lead Its Board

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) company ReadyTech has announced the appointment of Tony Faure as its new chairman. Faure is the chairman of outdoor giant oOh!media and data intelligence platform PredictHQ. He is also a non-executive director of digital mortgage company Uno Homeloans, content platform Stackla and specialised media company Medical Media. Faure is regarded as being one […]