Attempting to shift blame is never a good crisis management strategy
In a move that would leave any competent crisis management pro shaking his/her head in disgust, Asiana Airlines has announced it will be suing the TV station that mistakenly aired a list of false and offensive names said to belong to the pilots of Flight 214.
Here’s Asiana’s explanation, as reported in an AP article:
Asiana has decided to sue KTVU-TV to “strongly respond to its racially discriminatory report” that disparaged Asians, Asiana spokeswoman Lee Hyomin said. She said the airline will likely file suit in U.S. courts.
She said the report seriously damaged Asiana’s reputation. Asiana hasn’t determined whether to launch a similar suit against the NTSB, Lee said.
Put plainly, this is ridiculous, and comes across as nothing more than an attempt to distract the public from the real issue. Asiana Airlines – your reputation wasn’t “seriously damaged” by a distasteful list that was broadcast once and almost immediately retracted, it took that damage because one of your planes slammed into the runway at San Francisco International Airport.
What Asiana SHOULD be doing
When you’re in the middle of a crisis, you need to show your stakeholders that you’re taking responsibility for the situation, and that your resources are going towards, well, solving the crisis! Right now, Asiana officials should be talking about how very sorry they are for the pain and loss experienced by passengers and their families, while figuring out how to show stakeholders there is no cause for concern regarding traveling on their planes. That’s it. No distractions, no finger pointing, just getting to work on the issues at hand.
The BCM Blogging Team