No one likes flight delays. But when storms struck the northeast this summer, the social team at JetBlue took it as an opportunity to engage their fans and raise awareness about the effects of weather on operations. The result was an outpouring of support from customers, and one of their most engaging Page posts of the year. We spoke with JetBlue communications senior analyst Allison Steinberg to learn more.
Those clouds look pretty ominous.
This summer, the thunderstorms affecting operations were top of mind for everyone, including those travelling with us. Rob Vecchio, one of our ground operations crew members, snapped a great shot of the storm clouds coming in. We thought, what better way to show our customers why their plane might be delayed. How could a plane take off with severe weather coming? The picture really is worth a thousand words.
How did the photo make it from a ground operations crew member and onto the JetBlue Facebook Page so quickly?
We have a communications inbox where our crewmembers can send photos and observations from the frontline to be shared more broadly, whether it’s informing customers of operational updates, a fun story about something that just happened, or something we share internally.
This photo was submitted very early in the morning, and I knew when I saw it that it would resonate. We’re strategic with our social media calendar and have a plan for engaging our fans, but we’re also always open to things that may come up that are of the moment. There is a small group of us that work very closely on our Facebook channel. We had a brief meeting on how to share this photo that morning and then were able to turn it around quickly.
It’s really cool that team members outside of marketing know and feel empowered to send photos and stories to the social team.
We have a strong relationship with all of our crew. The communication channels are very much open and transparent. I think it is a product of our company culture, that kind of two-way dialogue that we have across departments and functions. Part of it is also is that we make sure our internal teams know about our social channels, and know that they have a way of actively contributing content by submitting to the inbox.
The ability for us to listen to our customers online and get that information back to our crew also helps set up our operations teams for success. So it definitely works both ways: We establish a chain by giving them information and then they are able to reach back out and say hey, here’s something I saw on the frontline that would be great to share.
Listening to our customers and what’s going on in the world in general is also key to what we do. The other thing that was interesting about this post is that during this period of the storm, especially in New York where the storm was centered, we saw a spike of people posting really captivating pictures of the storm clouds. So not only did this post give us an opportunity to show what it meant to our operations, it also gave us an opportunity to enter the conversation that was going on in the world as it was happening.
JetBlue’s marketing and communications teams help give a voice to JetBlue’s 14,500 crewmembers. Pictured (from left to right): Allison Steinberg, Communications; Rob Vecchio, JFK Ground Operations; Sean Williams, Marketing.
In this new series, we’re reaching out to the copy editors, community managers and creatives behind some of the best page publishing to come across our news feed. Know any brands or agencies you want featured? Post your ideas in the comments or drop us a line.