The Economist on Social Media and airlines

Posted by on Nov 10, 2008 in Uncategorized | 3 Comments


Pic c/o Richard Turgoose

That normally sane guide to all things business seems to have missed the point entirely in its comments on the latest UK-based airline to struggle with its staff 'mis'-using social media.

While BA are happy to use t'web to transmit stuff to us, they don't like it when their own staff find it useful to air their dislike and disdain for customers.

Virgin Atlantic had the same problem with Facebook a while ago, you might recall...

So what does the Economist suggest: monitor, regulate and stamp out misuse.

Pretend the conversation isn't happening (when it will be somewhere), rather than bothering to do something about the problems which lie behind the kwetsching.

They just don't get it, do they?


  1. graeme
    November 10, 2008

    Not sure which is scarier, the fact that brands of BA and Virgin's size don't automatically track their online reputation, or the fact that the Economist misses the point by such a margin!

    Feel sorry for the PR folk whose quotes are being used to support the Economist's argument though

  2. Mark
    November 10, 2008

    Dead right.

    But old client of mine once explained that all airlines HAVE to be essentially logistics businesses and that customers and customer service can only ever be a countervailing force (and not the main engine of the business). Sad, but true.

    No wonder they don't get it…

  3. Marty Molloy
    November 11, 2008

    How many businesses are just using social media as another lame attempt to offer tired PR as well? God forbid they talk to their customers!