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Malaysia Airlines : A One-Way Ticket to Disaster

Malaysia Airlines : A One-Way Ticket to Disaster

On March 8, 2014, Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was reported missing between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing with 239 passengers aboard. In July of the same year, flight MH 17 crashed in eastern Ukraine with all 298 passengers. One month later, Malaysia Airlines launched a contest that they unfortunately called ‘My Ultimate Bucket List’.

The Failure :

Aimed at Australian and New Zealand customers, the contest asked, “What do you dream of doing before you die?” Prizes included an iPad or an economy-class ticket. Just a few days after its launch, in response to the criticism and outrage it unleashed, the company decided to rename the contest ‘Win an iPad’.

Then in late November 2014, they came back with a Tweet: “Thinking of taking a trip, but don’t know where to go?” The outcry was immediate.

After two plane crashes followed by the company’s bad crisis management, an unfortunately-named contest and a stupid Tweet, Malayasia Airlines ended up laying off more than 6,000 of its employees.

The Moral :

Before the two plane crashes, Malaysia Airlines had the reputation of being a very safe company to fly with. But bad crisis management, the power of social media and its generally mismanaged communications efforts spelled disaster. Today’s communications tools have to be handled with care: their misuse can all too easily cause a brand to crash.

Image Source : sourcefeed.com

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