by Dean Stacey
The PR boffins at Qantas will be giving themselves a hearty pat on the back this week after helping push the story of 10-year-old Alex Jacquot, the self-appointed founder and CEO of his very own airline.
For those who missed the now viral story, young Alex penned an “adorable” letter to Qantas chief Alan Joyce seeking tutelage from his more senior rival.
While admitting he’s “not typically in the business of giving advice to competitors”, Mr Joyce – likely with a gentle nudge from his advisors – was inclined to make an exception.
Already one of the most trusted brands in Australia, this kind of story is really a free kick for Qantas. Where the skill comes into it from a communications perspective is in extracting the maximum opportunity for reputational mileage.
The story has now been splashed across most national mastheads and been covered by breakfast TV, reaching a potential audience of millions. Cleverly, Qantas has also invited Alex to meet Mr Joyce and tour the airline’s operations centre in a move that will no doubt create more headlines and deliver a steady stream of social media content.
It’s really not rocket science but Qantas’s approach clearly demonstrates the importance of being agile when it comes unplanned opportunities to grow your brand.