I’ll start by saying that usually I’m an Air Canada fan. Usually. In fact, I’ve even blogged about them in the past (See Good leaders listen to customers and employees and Good leaders respond to customer feedback). But last week’s major gaffe by one of their PR staffers, a senior one no less, has me shaking my head. In case you haven’t read or heard the story, here’s a short version.
Larry, the 2-year-old Italian greyhound, was moving to Canada to join his new adopted family. Last week, while awaiting his delayed flight in San Francisco, a local staff member opened his cage to check on him, and the dog bolted. Sad as this is to an animal lover like me, this is not what has me disappointed with Air Canada. No, that came later. You see, a local CBS affiliate in California contacted Air Canada inquiring about the lost dog and received a response saying a ground team was doing its best to locate Larry. The reporter then emailed a follow-up request asking a few additional questions. Imagine her surprise when she received a response from Peter Fitzpatrick, Air Canada’s Manager of Corporate Communications: “I think I would just ignore, it is local news doing a story on a lost dog,” Fitzpatrick wrote. “Their entire government is shut down and about to default and this is how the US media spends its time.” Clearly, the email was intended for a co-worker, and Fitzpatrick accidentally hit “Reply” instead of “Forward”. Oops! Continue reading