Raising Customer Awareness for a Wi-Fi Service Trial

Alaska Airlines, an industry leader in adopting innovative technology to improve its customers' travel experience, approached Communiqué PR for help as it geared up for its compelling new inflight Wi-Fi service trial. Introducing a new service on a commercial aircraft is no easy endeavor. Each plane to be equipped must be taken out of service, outfitted with technologically exacting equipment, and thoroughly tested. Exhaustive government approvals must then be granted before the plane can be put back into commercial use. All of this had to be strategized and integrated as we prepared for the launch.

PR objectives

Our PR objectives were to drive awareness of Alaska Airline's customer trial of its Wi-Fi service on a Boeing 737-700 aircraft. With the launch of this trial, we wanted customers to know that on the specially-equipped aircraft they would be able browse the Web, access online music, games, podcasts and webcasts; send and receive e-mail and connect to Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).

Our strategy

Communiqué PR identified three strategies for driving awareness of the service trial. These included developing compelling and informative messages and materials, reaching out to journalists and analysts to drive coverage of the trial, and creating a viral buzz through social media.

Leading up to the announcement, we secured feedback and references from key influentials and industry analysts to provide third-party validation once the trial went live. We also tracked what other competitors were doing with inflight Wi-Fi and worked with Alaska Airlines to update key messages and press materials to competitively position them in the market. Lastly, on the day of the trial launch we secured participation from top-tier business media and vertical publications to spark interest in the news.

Results

Communiqué PR secured significant coverage of the service trial in more than 45 print and broadcast news outlets, including USA Today, Wireless Week, CNET TV, Anchorage Daily News, Seattle Times, Aviation News, MSNBC, KOMO 4 News, KING 5 News and KIRO 7 News helping the airline to achieve its communication and business objectives surrounding the trial.

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