NEW BUSINESS, NEW EMPLOYEES & NEW LOOK FOR THE SOURCE

One of the region’s leading PR, marketing and digital agencies is celebrating after a flurry of new business wins and the appointment of five new members of staff as the team grows to cope with the demand for its PR, marketing and digital services.

The business growth has also been manifested in a new brand ‘The Source’ (previously The Source Partnership) to reflect the company’s ambition and client focus. The new brand has been extended across all communication streams including its popular social media platforms as well as a new website and company video.

Joining the team are five new account handlers including Scarlett Lawson who joins from Meri Mance PR in London, Chelsie Taylor who joins from Glyndwr University’s communication team while Sara Perrett, Jo Sherwood and Evie Shaw join after graduating and spending a year in the industry. Emily Gibbons from Loud Designs will also be working with the team from their new offices in Tattenhall.

The Source has secured a wave of new business wins as clients look for effective PR and marketing support as well as ways to raise their profile in the social media and digital marketplace. Recent account wins include local businesses such as; Chester’s Grosvenor Hotel, the impressive Bolesworth International Horse Show and the Sticky Walnut Group, where The Source helped secure a record-breaking amount of crowd-funding for their new Liverpool restaurant Wreckfish.

Further afield, The Source has started work on cover suppliers to Wimbledon, Stuart Canvas, Europac 3D, one of the UK’s leading 3D printing and design companies, as well as Freedome, which is believed to be the UK’s safest trampoline park that featured on Good Morning Britain last month.

Louis Hill, Partner at The Source, comments; “These are exciting times at The Source as we grow the team, take on new business and celebrate the successes with our new brand and website. We can see that there is a positive outlook amongst the businesses in the region as they see the benefits in effective marketing and sharing with their customers some of the excellent work that they do.

“The team gets enormous satisfaction in supporting clients in their ambitions and we look forward to continuing to build the business and to help our clients reach their potential through more effective marketing and communications.”

The Source is based in Tattenhall and offers a wide range of services including media relations, social media management and digital communications. The company, established in 2012, works across the UK and supports businesses from all sectors including property, manufacturing, retail as well as food and fashion.

HOW UNITED AIRLINES FLEW INTO A CRISIS

The horrific scenes captured on smart phones and shared across social media platforms gave a pretty candid view of the approach United Airlines take to customer service.

If anyone is looking for an example of a PR crisis then this has to be top of the tree.  It contained all the key ingredients: an awful experience, injured customers, a wide audience of viewers, video footage of the incident and a conflict with the company’s brand and values. All this plus a dreadful response from Oscar Munoz, United’s CEO and recent winner of the title ‘Communicator of the year’ in the US version of PR Week.

So, what could have been done better?  Firstly, the CEO should have quickly offered an unreserved apology for forcibly removing a passenger from his seat and publically dragging him down an overbooked aircraft aisle.

Timeliness and decisiveness are key to communications and Munoz missed his chance when the initial apology was for ‘having to re-accommodate … customers’.  Secondly, he made the mistake of assuming communications to employees won’t find their way into the mainstream media.  In a crisis, it’s best to assume that nothing is off the record and that any recorded or written communication will find its way to the media as they clamour to keep the story alive.

Thirdly, don’t publically criticise your customers however “disruptive and belligerent” they may be.  Let’s also not forget that the customer had bought his seat in good faith and only found himself in that situation because of United Airlines’ policy to overbook their flights.

So, does it really matter and will today’s news be tomorrow’s fish and chip wrappers?  In my view, unfortunately not.  Munoz missed the boat as it was not until 72 hours later that he issued a proper apology, calling the episode “truly horrific.” Future customers may be relieved that he now finally wants us to know that “we take full responsibility and we will work to make it right” and that he will “promise I’ll do better.” (hopefully there won’t be a next time..?).

Three days after the incident and the top trending topic on Twitter in the U.S. was #NewUnitedAirlinesMottos, with users suggesting slogans such as “not enough seating, prepare for a beating”, while memes and jokes are also appearing on other social media sites meaning that the issue will reach wider audiences and stay for some time yet.

Financially, United Continental (UAL) shares, have lost more than UD$250m and are now around 4% lower than they were pre-incident.  The video, which circumnavigates language and cultural boundaries, has also attracted huge audiences in China, one of United’s key emerging markets (attracting more than 100m views, and rising).

Mr Munoz is currently looking to hold onto his position, however perhaps that’s now looking increasingly unlikely, largely due to a poor PR response at the outset of his company’s crisis.