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Lessons From The Boeing Airline Crisis – And From The Crisis Management Industry’s Response

By Thom Fladung/Hennes Communications

The crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 and subsequent focus on the Boeing 737Max airliner brought with it the usual analysis and reaction from crisis communications consultants.

Some of our crisis communications peers provided insight into how Boeing was dealing with its crisis. And some reaction, unfortunately, we found lacking in basic research and shallow in judgment.

Patrick Trancu, a crisis management adviser in Switzerland, reached out to Hennes for reaction as well.

Then Trancu set out to write a thorough, nuanced account of Boeing’s challenges and response immediately after the crash. Here’s how Trancu described his goals, in the article:

“…as we have seen too often, highly visible crises give crisis management and communications consultants a great opportunity to express their views and pass judgement on the actual management of the crisis, often criticizing decisions taken while enjoying the enviable comfort of their seats and benefiting from 48/72 hours hindsight. At times even with little understanding of the industry involved.

“I personally have no interest in this kind of exercise. As a crisis management adviser who has worked on a major airline crash (SAS flight SK686 from Milan to Copenhagen October 8, 2011) and with the aviation industry for the past 20 years I am interested in trying to understand – with the limited information I have – the context that nurtured the crisis management decision making process in Seattle and what, if anything, we can learn from it.”

We think you’ll agree that Trancu succeeded with this piece, which you can read here.

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