You probably saw the story about United Airlines staff dragging a bloodied passenger off a flight.

And, of course, this being 2017, other passengers filmed it on their phones and posted it online. It’s a PR disaster. And, since the story broke, United’s stock market value has dropped $255,000,000.

Of course, now their spin machine has kicked in, and they’ve issued multiple apologies. One of these apologies even talked about how treating their “customers with respect and dignity” is “at the core of who we are.”

But no-one’s buying it.

As the late Stephen Covey once said, “You can’t talk your way out of a problem you behaved your way into.”

Your reputation will be the reputation you earn, not the reputation you try to give yourself. And no amount of marketing will fix that.

All the best,

Steve Gibson

P.S. What should United have done? They offered up to $800 to the first four people who’d give up their seats. They didn’t get any takers. What they should have done is kept increasing the amount.

Maybe it would have cost them $20,000 (total) to get four volunteers. Maybe. But I’d rather pay $20k than $255 mil.

P.P.S. The #unitedairlines hashtag on twitter is hilarious. Well worth checking out.