Southwest’s Dan Landson talks gaining media traction by constructive storytelling

News Author


In a busy media panorama the place destructive information can go viral immediately, one PR professional reinforces sharing constructive tales, whether or not by built-in comms methods or discovering pitch-worthy materials internally.

Dan Landson, Southwest Airways’ public relations counselor, likes to soar above the negativity and fight it with messaging that garners curiosity from inside stakeholders, the general public and, after all, the media.

Landson will communicate in regards to the ins and outs of built-in communication methods on the PR Every day Media Relations Convention, June 5-6 in Washington, D.C. Learn on for a sneak peek at what he’ll talk about and study his preliminary curiosity with Southwest.

You don’t must look far to search out your tales

Southwest Airways is among the bigger airways within the nation. When transporting over 130 million passengers within the sky yearly and using over 66,000 folks, there’s sure to be some media protection alongside the way in which.

Landson talked about his preliminary curiosity with Southwest after assembly a flight attendant at his first job at a grocery retailer. He stated that discovering these employee-centric moments are culture-building tales that must be advised.

“It’s these tales that carry us collectively however in the event you don’t hear about these tales, you’re not going to know that Southwest exists as an employer of selection,” Landson stated. “However as a PR skilled, we get to inform wonderful tales of our 66,000 workers. There are unimaginable those who work for us.”

The mechanics of built-in comms

Landson stated that numerous positivity can come from telling these tales, amongst others, and sharing excellent news externally and internally.

“In public relations, it’s so vital to concentrate on all communication actions which are taking place,” Landson stated of being in sync from starting to finish. “Whether or not that’s a advertising electronic mail or an inside electronic mail or inside story after which how does that have an effect on your exterior story and exterior messaging? All of them must be intertwined. All of them must be scheduled appropriately and likewise all must be written in a fashion that’s simple to know by the viewers’s that you just’re attempting to succeed in.”

Honing in on built-in media methods additionally requires PR execs to construct belief, Landson stated.

“You’ve acquired to have the ability to actually lead the dialog to turn out to be a trusted counselor amongst your friends and counterparts at your small business and your company,” Landson stated. “You wish to turn out to be the trusted voice, the trusted seat, and the extra belief you construct, the extra and the extra visibility you’ve got, the higher probability you’ve got of constructing and growing stronger and extra impactful communication methods.”

Constructing media relationships

Landson stated that media protection may not all the time be favorable however navigating by turbulent skies can go a great distance.

“As we are saying, we are able to’t guarantee something however what we  can do is absolutely get to know our journalists that cowl the business,” Landson stated. “Get to construct relationships with those that finally turn out to be a trusted particular person that you could go to bounce story concepts off of, assist pitch proactive and unique tales with. In the end, bringing them to your entrance door to indicate them your organization’s methods in order that they’ve a significantly better understanding of what you’re attempting to do and what you’re attempting to perform.”

Landson talked about grappling with Southwest’s points in December the place main flight delays stranded 1000’s of passengers.

“This was an unprecedented state of affairs for our firm and our communication staff,” Landson stated, including that the staff got here collectively rapidly to determine the most effective communication ways.

“Day by day we regrouped to debate what labored, what didn’t work, what we are able to change.”

Landson stated the corporate listened to journalists and what they wanted for protection, took that data again to the staff and regrouped their methods.

“Probably the most vital items of being in public relations is listening to your audiences,” he stated.