About John Bailey

John is Partner and Managing Director Ketchum Singapore. He previously worked with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in Geneva, Switzerland, where he played a pivotal role in developing “best practice” in crisis communications for the global airline industry. John was also involved in the response to several major incidents, including six aircraft accidents and the December 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. He has written numerous newspaper and magazine articles on crisis communications and crisis management, and has spoken on the subject around the world.

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Easy to Criticise – Harder to Get It Right

Now that the dust is settling on the United Airlines saga, what else is there to say about this latest example of the power of unhappy customers armed with smartphones to turn a badly-handled service issue into a full-blown reputation firestorm?

This one ticked all the boxes, with screaming headlines, stern editorials, social media memes, threats of a boycott in China (where United is the largest US carrier), and almost $1 billion wiped off the value of the company. This was evidently regarded as a buying opportunity for some investors: the stock quickly recovered.

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