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The day Chrissy Teigen’s casserole flew and other lessons in travel PR

It could be Chrissy Teigen’s 9.7 million followers, but when Teigen tweets at you, you respond. And you let the (heavily pregnant) woman and her casserole fly. But what of the USA men’s curling team or fans of the second amendment?


We’ll start with the casserole, because — well, potatoes, garlic, cheese...


Lip Sync Battle host, model, cookbook author and vocal (if hilariously blunt) hater of Trump, Chrissy Teigen, took to Twitter to ask a very important question before her American Airlines flight: can our casseroles fly?


The answer, which pleased the internet immensely, was yes.





Airlines and the TSA are rarely beloved in the world of social media. But the speed at which they jumped on this popular post and the manner in which they kept the tone light is a lesson in what to do right.


A similar opportunity arose for Delta Airlines, when the victorious US curling men’s team tweeted the airline wondering if they had much of a chance at getting an upgrade.


The response, though polite, was hardly inspirational and Americans didn’t like it.’s Chris Matyszczyk thinks Delta missed out on a great PR opportunity.


“Naturally, I can see that some might praise the airline for its deep-seated lurch toward equality,” Matyszczyk wrote.


“But the administrative neutrality of the tone was desperately inappropriate. Delta surely had alternatives. These men are folk heroes. At least for this weekend. Give them something and you'll get lovely PR from it.


“The airline could, for example, have teased U.S.A. Curling to switch to Direct Message and worked something out that would have delighted the team and made Delta look good.”


Delta, like United, is still facing backlash from ceasing to provide discounts to US National Rifle Association members to attend their annual convention after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre earlier this month.


Gun rights fans are threatening to boycott the airlines and took to social media to declare their outrage. Others simply wanted corporations to stay out of politics. 


But Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce, when under fire for his and his company’s support of same sex marriage said, “I think corporate Australia, if it's to fix the reputations it has out there, needs to be vocal on social issues," ABC reported.


"That's what good businesses do.”


"They are part of society, they help promote societal change, and help promote what's good for our people.”


The times aren’t just a’changing. They’ve changed and businesses have to change with them. Will a feel-good tweet about a pregnant woman’s casserole get more business for an airline or will price and loyalty programmes beat all? In the current climate of instant communication, videos of bad flight experiences are shared quickly, so when a moment of absolute (but nice) frivolity takes up that space instead, surely that can be chalked up to a PR win - especially if only a fraction of Teigen’s 9.7 million followers see it.


Though good public relations, especially in its social media iteration, is more than getting your name out there. It’s an actual person (hopefully with a sense of humour and a load of sense and compassion) having a real conversation with someone, Chrissy Teigen or not.


Image @chrissyteigen Twitter


Written by: Gaya Avery
Published: 26 February 2018

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