Kenya Airways (KQ) has been in operation for over 40 years. As Kenya’s national carrier, it has a huge responsibility in shaping Kenya’s image and identity.
Its recent past has however been tainted with negative news relating to financial performance, operational inefficiencies and mismanagement. The aviation sector also took a major knock during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Kenya Airways was no exception. But as flights re-opened, the airline realized that it was time to change its image entirely, renewing its focus on the importance of people’s ability to travel by air.
The sustainable development of Africa was a pillar of this new strategy, as the airline sought to prove to the public, customers, staff, and government that it was a brand Kenyan could be proud of – deserving of social and economic investment.
In order to ensure the business is sustainable into the future and can regain its status as the Pride of Kenya and Africa, the task at hand was to start to rebuild trust in the Kenya Airways brand and its leadership, in preparation for the future and what the Aviation sector reforms can achieve. The advantage KQ now had was a newly appointed CEO who did not have the historical baggage of the airline’s past, and whose agenda was to reorganize the airline to become a more sustainable business.
STRATEGY & EXECUTION
Edelman Kenya conducted a thorough audit of media coverage and public sentiment of Kenya Airways for the past years. Following this audit, the Edelman Kenya team prepared research and insights based on the Edelman Trust Barometer data on Kenya and COVID-19.
The communications strategy that was developed identified tactics that were intended to connect the research findings to the problem statement and deliver on the ultimate objective: to begin to rebuild trust in Kenya Airways.
Whilst it cannot dismiss the past, it can place renewed focus on its purpose, ‘the sustainable development of Africa’ as a counterweight to its previous issues and present its stakeholders with a brand people can be proud of.
We therefore centered the campaign on the CEO leading from the front through the difficult COVID-19 transition.
“Rallying stakeholders such as the public, customers, and staff, around KQ will help encourage government decision-makers to reconsider the value of investing in KQ.”
Using Edelman Trust barometer special report Brand Trust and the Coronavirus Pandemic, March 2020, we came up with 4 Steps:
- Show up and do your part
- Don’t act alone
- Solve don’t sale
- Communicate with emotion, compassion and facts
In the past 8+ months, Kenya Airways has achieved industry leading metrics including with the CEO at the forefront to position KQ as a transparent airline and rebuild trust on the brand.
Over 495 pieces of coverage including interviews and articles in CNN Global, CNN Africa, BBC, Bloomberg, DW Media, FT, CGTN, Voice of America, Reuters, Citizen TV, KTN News, Daily Nation & The Standard.
Tier 1 media attendance at all of the key events including, Virtual AGM, resumption of flights, HY19 and stakeholder engagement events