On 8 March 2014, Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 departed from Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 00:14, and was due to arrive in Beijing on the same day, 06:30. However, all contact was lost with the plane less than an hour after take off.
After word of the missing airplane got out, countries all over the world came together to launch an extensive search for the airline. The carrier had 227 passengers and 12 crew members.
Following this incident, the airline was heavily criticised and was faced with public and media scrutiny from all major global media outlets. The shares of the airline took a hit and dropped 20% within the week of the incident.
However, experts commended on their crisis effort. In response to the crisis, social media (Facebook and Twitter) belonging to Malaysia Airlines became active in updating the public with news on the missing flights. The airlines had provided a rapid public response, and fully utilised its social media platforms to constantly reach out to the general public, reduce speculation and showed professionalism and compassion for the families of those affected.
Despite the scarcity of information, the after actions of the airlines, provided the transparency, cooperation that the public needs. On top of that, their actions also proved their willingness to get to the bottom of the accident.
Instead of engaging in ‘monologue messaging’, public prefers to be engaged in an interactive conversation. It is important that organisations is portrayed as responsible, honest and transparent in face of crisis to reduce the negative impact on the reputation of the organisation.
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