RIGA International Airport vs. Ryanair – Communication Strategy for Airport Security Fee

  • 395 views
Uploaded on

Baltic PR Awards 2012 …

Baltic PR Awards 2012
Category: ISSUE AND CRISIS MANAGEMENT
Organization: SJSC Riga International Airport
Country: Latvia
Project name: RIGA International Airport vs. Ryanair – Communication Strategy for Airport Security Fee

  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
    Be the first to like this
No Downloads

Views

Total Views
395
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0

Actions

Shares
Downloads
2
Comments
0
Likes
0

Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
    No notes for slide

Transcript

  • 1. Category: ISSUE AND CRISIS MANAGEMENT RIGA International Airport vs Ryanair – Communication Strategy for Airport Security FeeSummaryIn October 2011 the Cabinet of Ministers approved new regulations on financing of the security measuresprovided at the airport transferring them from the state budget to the passengers. As a result, from 2012 eachdeparting passenger must pay a security fee. Ryanair was the only carrier operating at the Airport that after longnegotiations refused to include the fee into their fare. Therefore the Airport itself had to collect the fee fromRyanair passengers. The Consultancy was engaged to provide a communication strategy for informing the passengers and publicabout the new regulations, emphasizing the importance of the security measures at the Airport. It was crucial toexplain that additional complications for Ryanair passengers were caused by the carrier’s decision, not by theAirport. Less than a month was given to plan and implement the informative activities. It was decided to divide the campaign into two parts - educational and informative - to bring the message tokey stakeholders – Ryanair passengers, other travellers, opinion leaders, the Airport staff. They were providedwith full information about the new procedure. There were only few complaints from the passengers, and mediain 90% of cases accepted the Airport’s message.SituationShortly before the new regulations were adopted, two Airport officials had created a communication crisis bygiving conflicting information to media on the required funding and its use to ensure security. This lowered thecredibility of the information provided by the Airport. Ryanair threatened to cut traffic from Riga by 30%. Therewas less than a month left to plan and implement the activities for reducing the damage to the Airport’sreputation. It had to be done in the interval between Christmas and the New Year - a lively travelling season yeta quiet period for media.ObjectivesAfter research - mystery shoppers’ telephone interviews of airlines and questioning of Ryanair passengers toidentify the stakeholders and target audience, analysis of the regulations and the Airport’s officialcommunication, the tasks were agreed: • Before 01.01.2012 to inform the passengers about the security fee thus preventing negative feedback after this date; • To inform Ryanair passengers about several payment options thus reducing the number of claims; • To prevent further damage to the Airport’s reputation in the media.Two target groups of Ryanair passengers were defined – Latvians aged 20 to 40 working abroad and people aged50 to 70 visiting their relatives.StrategyThe campaign was divided into two parts: informative and educational: • Informative: to address economically active population, particularly the air-passengers, warning that those flying Ryanair would have extra things to do at the Airport; • Eeducational: to provide stakeholders with full information (also printed) about the importance of security and use of the security fee; • To communicate the same message to all stakeholders (Airport employees, travel agencies, tourist NGOs) and use them as communication channels; • To appoint a new spokesperson for all public communication thus rebuilding the trust undermined by the two officials; • To proactively involve the Consumer Rights Protection Centre who would identify risks and speak on behalf of Ryanair distinguishing between the Airports and Ryanair’s roles in the new procedure.Two main criteria of assessment: key messages used in media coverage and the number of passenger complaintsto the Airport. Baltic PR Awards 2012
  • 2. Category: ISSUE AND CRISIS MANAGEMENTExecutionThe campaign ran according the original plan: • December 5 – 14 – drafting of research, strategy and tactical plans. • December 21 – launch of a home page section on the security fee. • December 27 – a manual for employees with a Q/A section, rules for communication with media etc. At the beginning of January special training was delivered to group leaders (250 people). • December 27 – letters with the Q/A section sent to 50 travel agencies and 3 tourism organizations. • December 28 – informative leaflets distributed at the Airport, including pocket calendars for incoming Ryanair passengers. • December 29 – all points where Ryanair passengers could pay the security fee were marked with information banners. • December 29 – a press conference. With no additional budget for advertisements, throughout the week, before the new regulations came into force, the Airport’s message was periodically repeated in various communication channels.Documented ResultsOutputs: • 90% of media stories covering this issue accepted the Airport’s position. The informative coverage of the campaign resulted in 72 media publications within one week, 15 TV news stories, 20 radio news broadcasts, 8 stories in printed media, and 29 online publications. • In the first half of the year: - From 382 467 Ryanair passengers the Airport received just 28 claims (0.007% of the total Ryanair passenger number). - 60 000 copies of each informative leaflet were distributed to passengers at the Airport. - 31578 people visited “Security Fee” section on the Airport home page. - Positive feedback from the Airport staff working with customers.Outcomes: • By June 30, 2012 Riga Airport had sold 149342 security fee coupons. • The reputation of the Airport has not suffered as Ryanair rather than the Airport was criticized for creating complications to the passengers. Baltic PR Awards 2012