I have been reasonably convinced in recent months that United Airlines has just decided to focus on other efforts rather than building up their social media presence. I figured they decided to focus their marketing on other areas and that they didn’t mind falling behind other US carriers who have successfully leveraged various social media platforms. JetBlue, Delta, American Airlines and Us Airways have all made notable efforts in this area. Even smaller players Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines have a reasonable presence. But, like I said, I figured that United was happy to be somewhat behind, waiting for other things to clear up before focusing some efforts in the social media space.
Apparently not so much.
At the Associate of Travel Marketing Executives conference in Chicago today United’s SVP Marketing, Mark Bergsurd was talking about various branding efforts when he apparently launched two doozies on the crowd, as reported by some of the attendees:
Maybe he’s proud because he doesn’t really get it and the people inside are telling him it is OK? But, seriously, shouldn’t someone at the top know to look outside for validation? And to look at what others are doing and compare? If I had to guess I’d say that Bergsrud not only "doesn’t always get it," but that he also doesn’t really seem to care all that much. Maybe that’s ok, but it certainly doesn’t say much for vision or foresight. And that’s probably not the image I’d want to be presenting at an industry conference.
Bergsrud did share some good insight on other issues, noting that the company has a trust issue with customers and that the website still needs some work. But making statements like these is, if anything, mostly proof that the second comment really is true.
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