London, Tuesday, May 25, 1999: British Airways has selected GCI to handle its corporate, marketing and issues-management public relations programme in both North America and Europe. The assignment covers the USA, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Scandinavia, Finland, Benelux, Portugal, Austria and Switzerland with a public relations budget in the region of $2m.
The appointment follows a comprehensive review and a wide-ranging competitive pitch process conducted by Louise Tingström, Head of International Communications at British Airways.
Her aim is to rationalise and focus British Airways’ public relations effort in these key regions, so as to compete more effectively in the increasingly competitive premium air travel marketplace.
“British Airways has phenomenal brand strengths and attracts enormous loyalty from both the business and leisure customer”, she said. “At the same time, we are facing increasing competition throughout the world. The aim is to win the PR war decisively and to reinforce British Airways` position as the leading international carrier in all markets outside the UK. A single, co-ordinated PR resource is integral to this strategy.”
Simon Walker, Director of Communications, British Airways’ commented; “We have completely reviewed our international communications strategy since Louise’s arrival at British Airways last December and we are confident that GCI will serve as a great team under her direction. Three out of five of our passengers come from outside the UK, which will increase to four out of five in the near future and we are determined to give international communications the weight it deserves.”
GCI has assigned an international team of travel experts, corporate specialists and marketing PR consultants to the British Airways programme and has set up a specially-designed extranet to facilitate real-time, worldwide communication between British Airways` offices and its own 45-office network.
Bob Feldman, GCI`s International President & CEO, said: “This kind of fast-moving, multi-level programme for a global brand leader is exactly what GCI was designed to provide. I could not be more delighted to have won British Airways’ confidence: the brief calls on all GCI`s geographical and specialist strengths, and I know our people will do great work for the airline in both breadth and depth.”