Against a backdrop of three years of successive losses and a plummeting share price, Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline, drafted in Saad Hammad, formerly EasyJet COO, as CEO and tasked him with turning the business around. Hammad delivered a programme which meant that by early 2014 Flybe was returning to health. Realising that positive broadcast coverage was key to communicating this to their audiences Flybe brought in markettiers4dc to produce a strategy to help realise their core aims:
- Restore shareholder confidence
- Communicate to customers that Flybe was offering more flights to more destinations
- Reassure employees that their hard work and sacrifices were paying off
Flybe and markettiers4dc devised a strategy to deliver a cluster of national and regional broadcast-led opportunities across four dates in seven weeks:
- 23rd April: Five year deal to commence services between London City Airport (LCY) and Edinburgh, Dublin, Belfast, Inverness and Exeter
- 20th May: Birmingham – new routes to Oslo and Hamburg; all year round operation to Cologne, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Florence, Porto and Reykjavik
- 11th June: Annual Results
- 12th June: Southampton – all year round operation to Alicante and Malaga; new route to Hamburg
- 12th June: Inverness – new route to Dublin
Each of these announcements was a positive indicator in its own right. Together, and quickly following each other, they could convey to consumers, employees and The City alike the strong feeling that Flybe was now very much on the up.
Across the four phases of the campaign, over 200 items of broadcast coverage were delivered but more importantly the tone of that coverage was crucial to achieving Flybe’s goals. Flybe consumer research identified a significant increase in brand awareness immediately after the campaign and this in turn created a very positive outlook on bookings for the new London City routes in particular.
Stand-out coverage across the campaign included BBC1 Breakfast, CNBC, Reuters, Radio 4’s News Briefing, BBC Scotland, bbc.co.uk, New York Times, USA Today, AOL, Yahoo, Huffington Post, ITV London, STV, BBC News Channel, Sky News, BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Radio 2 Drivetime, LBC, Good Morning Scotland, Mail Online, Bloomberg.net, Express, Scotsman, BBC South West, BBC Northern Ireland, ITV West Country, ITV Ulster, BBC The Herald, Belfast Telegraph, Express & Echo, BBC Midlands Today, ITV Central and ITV Meridian.
Andrew McConnell, Flybe’s Director of Communications, said: “I had only been in the company for a couple of weeks and faced with an imminent major announcement I realised I needed to bring in specialist Broadcast PR support. I turned to markettiers4dc who not only delivered outstanding high quality broadcast coverage in all of our target areas but also hugely increased the exposure Flybe had previously received on TV, radio and online. This in turn led to significant increase in awareness of the Flybe brand in our target consumer areas.”
Watch the coverage showreel below: