Good Foundations Of Communication Theory - Findings Mini-Assignment Research Paper Example
RQ: What strategies does Malaysia Airlines use to (re)establish its ethos following the disappearance of Flight MH370?
Frequent updates (Public Statements released on company website)
The company released public statements onto the company website every other hour or so. This is good for re-establishing ethos because you’re trying to give as much information to the public as you can with what you have, even if it is not much. At this point when families and the media are glued to their TVs and computer screens, any new information you can give is appreciated. This also shows that you are staying on top of the situation as much as you can and trying your hardest to release new information, specifically information that can lead to the finding of the airplane. However, this can be negative for re-establishing ethos because if you are releasing the same information over and over again, people may get fed up and will look elsewhere for new information. You have to try and give the audience something new.
Not responding to allegations against First Officer, Fariq Ab Hamid
Malaysia Airlines was informed of allegations against one its First Officers, yet they didn’t shy away from the task at hand. They stated on March 11, “We have not been able to confirm the validity of the pictures and videos of the alleged incident. As you are aware, we are in the midst of a crisis, and we do not want our attention to be diverted.” This works for Malaysia Airlines to reestablish its ethos because they see this allegation as a minor issue that doesn’t necessarily need to be addressed right now. They won’t to focus solely on the task of finding the missing airline.
Text Message sent to families of passengers and crew of MH370
On March 24th a text message was sent to the families of those about the missing flight. In this statement Malaysia Airlines stated that they have to assume the flight disappeared in the Indian Ocean. They try to reestablish ethos by stating later on how deeply sorry they are for what has transpired and promising that the search for the missing airline will continue. However, we see this hurting Malaysia Airline’s credibility tremendously because of the delivery. A long, apologetic letter would have sufficed much greater than a text message. We fault Malaysia Airlines for this.
Sightings of potential MH370 objects
On March 23 Malaysia Airlines stated that the search for the flight has become an international effort, with other countries searching for the flight as well. Satellite images were sent to the airline showing potential objects, which may be related to the missing flight. This is tricky because Malaysia Airlines had no choice but to make a statement about this. This works because it establishes ethos but also takes it away. Malaysia Airlines had no choice but to report on this because it is new information that the public wants to be aware of, however, if you give faulty information or if the objects end up having nothing to do with flight MH370 you can end up looking less credible.
Frequently giving background information about Flight itself\
In the first few statements Malaysia Airlines continuously gave the audience background information on the flight; when it took off, where it was headed, when it expected to land, who was on board, etc. Doing this frequently is a good idea to allow people to be up to speed if they’ve missed any information or are just now hearing about the incident. They also finish these statements by expressing interest in reaching out to families of those on board.
Feeling deeply regretful
In the 3rd public statement made on March 8th, they say, “we are deeply saddened this morning with the news on MH370.”Malaysia Airlines makes it apparent to tell the audience in these public statements how deeply sorry they are for what has transpired and reminding the audience that the search will continue. They do this to try and reestablish ethos because they want to show the audience that they feel as they do and that they recognize that something went wrong and they will not rest until it is solved. They end a number of public statements by saying, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the affected passengers and crew and their family members.”
Reaching out to families early
In the 3rd media statement released on March 8th at 10:30AM Malaysia Airlines stated that, “Our team is currently calling family members of passengers to keep them updated on the situation and our focus now is to work with the emergency responders and the authorities.” Reaching out this early allows Malaysia Airlines to reestablish ethos because they are making the attempt to reach out to each family affected by this incident. Later on they reach out to the families even more so when they fear that no progress has been made.
Good moral character: Even in such a panic, Malaysia Airlines attempts to remain trustworthy throughout the crash and the ensuing search. what has transpired. They want to make sure they keep the public up to date stay up to date and release statements as soon as they can; these statements include with any new information and what steps they have taken to find the flight. They never misconstrue information and they continuously make new public statements even if they know nothing else. They try to be as honest as possible with the information they have. They also show a deep concern by repeatedly saying how regretful they were and reaching out to the families on multiple levels in this time of need. At many times Malaysia Airlines knew as much as the families did, so all they could really do was reach out to the families and express their concern.
Good Sense: You can fault Malaysia Airlines with having poor judgement with how they reached out to families when they finally admitted that the flight disappeared; doing so by text. However, Malaysia Airlines expressed good judgement by announcing new information even if it didn’t lead to any new discoveries. It must have been very difficult to announce some new update even when the information you are letting out there isn’t something positive that the audience wants to hear. However, you have to have a good sense of what is right and what is wrong, and having new information that you don’t tell the audience about would be wrong. You can also applaud Malaysia Airlines for reaching out to the families so soon.
Goodwill: The airline makes it explicit that they are doing everything they can to find the missing flight and keeping the best interests of the families in mind. Malaysia Airlines asks for the support of the families and wants them to be as patient as possible; to have faith that the airline is doing everything in its power to find the plane.
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