2012 Platinum PR Awards: Employee Relations

Winner: MWW– Flight Plan for the Future: JetBlue Preserves Its Direct Relationship With Pilots

When the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) filed for election to represent the 2,108 pilots who work for JetBlue—America’s only union-free major carrier—the stakes were high.  

JetBlue hired MWW one week after ALPA filed with one objective: win the election. Pilots are intelligent, educated and are considered leaders, so MWW treated them accordingly, using infographics, managerial-style communications and favoring substance over sound bites. Within 10 days, MWW launched a robust, mobile-optimized Web site, jetbluefacts.com, where content was updated daily, including interactive Q&As. MWW created and posted 15 videos, which covered complex issues of law and process, as well as responses by JetBlue’s COO to difficult questions. The team also produced two infographics per week, distributed through posters and flight information display screens in crew rooms, postcards to homes and v-files (airport mailboxes).

These were supplemented with well-timed letters to homes from the CEO. In addition, 35+ informal CEO/COO crew room base visits in all five JetBlue hubs helped lead to the following result: a 17-point victory (58-41, with 1% write-in), and a 97.2% election turnout. —RD 

Honorable Mentions:


American Airlines with Weber Shandwick – Making Bold Moves: American Airlines Makes Biggest Aircraft Order in History: To keep employees inspired after a quarterly loss, American and Weber Shandwick announced the largest aircraft order in aviation history on July 20, 2011—the same day as the Q2 results—while also holding a live Q&A with executives and employees.

Bacardi Limited – Engaging Employees in Celebrating 150 Years of Bringing People Together: For its 150th anniversary, on Feb. 4, 2011, Bacardi launched a hub on its intranet, engaging 6,000 employees with 2,000 documents and assets such as timelines, videos, imagery and contests.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital – The Brigham Way 2011: The Brigham Way internal campaign highlighted employees that go above and beyond, promoting examples on signage around the hospital and through the BWH intranet site and the BWH Bulletin, the hospital’s weekly newsletter.

Latham & Watkins LLP – Start Well: Latham &Watkins created a“QuickStart” guide for the 12-week wellness regimen, distributed a weekly newsletter and produced a 2-minute“Endwell”podcast exercising post-program.
NextEra Energy - Reversing an Alarming Safety Trend: NextEra’s safety campaign included two new handbooks, a job site review card and recognition programs—leading to an 80% reduction in injuries in 2011.

Philips Electronics North America Corp. - We are Philips: Launched to evoke employee pride, We are Philips collected employee success stories and promoted them through posters and its Web site.
Syngenta – Growing Stronger Together: How the Internal Communications Team Shaped “One Syngenta”: The revamped One Syngenta campaign included an e-newsletter with talking points, FAQs and videos about the recently merged sales and marketing teams.

Dell and WPP Team Dell - Dell’s “The Power to Do More” Campaign Launch: The Power to Do More effort featured a series of internal brand rallies at Dell sites, enabling team members to preview the external campaign. As a result, employees’ optimism in the company’s future increased by 16%. 


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