Putting the communications cart before the horse – internal communications, Emirates and no bonuses

There’s a reason why internal communications is the base of any communications function – you need to ensure the message is understood internally before spreading that message to a public audience.

Emirates Airline had a taste of not to get things right this week after announcing its financial results for last year. The below quotes are taken from www.arabianbusiness.com.

Dubai-based Emirates Airline has posted a 52 percent increase in profits to $622m in the last financial year.

Meanwhile, Emirates Group – of which the airline is a subsidiary – posted a 34 percent increase in profits to $845m, helped by a 17 percent increase in revenues to $21.1bn.

For Emirates Airline staff, much of their potential compensation is paid in the form of bonuses which they receive if the company hits certain targets. It seems that the company however is not paying out bonuses this year. This disappointment is clearly reflected in the comments section of the Arabian Business piece which I’m posting below.

Posted by: Rajae Sunday, 12 May 2013 9:29 AM[UAE] – Uae

Emirates profit release doesn’t mean a thing to its more than 68,000 people who in d end didn’t get a single dirham share.
Two consecutive year of no bonus seem to be too unfair when all you read in the paper is of company’s soaring revenue and money generated.

Posted by: eyrocks Friday, 10 May 2013 3:44 PM[UAE] – uae

Emirates makes money because of its staff but forgets to reward them unlike FlyDubai and Etihad. Sad

Posted by: Rajae Sunday, 12 May 2013 9:28 AM[UAE] – Uae

I totally agree. Its the people thats the source of the company’s success but always been taken for granted.
Press release always seem to be so lucrative and rewarding but not a single reward thats given back to its staff. Its all blah blah blah

Posted by: May be unload factor Friday, 10 May 2013 12:28 PM[UAE] – Spain

Will the cabin crew finally get the long waited promised bonuses???

Posted by: Euro Friday, 10 May 2013 12:26 PM[UAE] – UAE

It is a very sad day for all Emirates Airline employees. Not a single dirham was shared with the men and woman working for the airline. Huge profits and nothing was given back to the staff. Zero profit share.
I am guessing Emirates is part of paying off Dubai Inc’s debt??

Someone at Emirates has had the sense to post a follow-up piece for Arabian Business stating why bonuses haven’t been paid, apparently due to targets not being met. However, wouldn’t have it been wise to have focused internally on the messaging rather than going out in the media and trumpeting the growth whilst forgetting or not focusing on how to assuage the feelings of those who have done their best to deliver on that profit, namely Emirates’ staff?

You can read the follow-up story here. I can’t wait for the comments to come rolling in.


A tale of two CRMs – Emirates and Bahrain Air

A couple of days ago was a very special day. Many years back something of immense importance occurred and I popped out into this world. I’m so proud of this day that I tell each and every company that I come into contact with online through their forms pages. My favourite firms out there are the airlines, who want me to repeat my birth date each and every time I think of flying with them.

Well, that special day which only comes once a year neared and I was pleasantly surprised to receive a host of name customized emails from businesses I have dealt with reminding me it was my birthday. I’d used Bahrain Air a couple of times, most recently at the end of May in 2012. I was impressed that they’d set up the feature (it isn’t too hard to automate the process if you have a good database and e-marketing tool) and that they’d not only sent it to my own email but also my wife’s email which I’d booked for the same trip.

Thank you Bahrain Air for the kind thought!

Thank you Bahrain Air for the kind thought!

And then there was another airline, the airline which we were traveling on that very day. I first traveled on Emirates in 2003 and love the airline. However, did the good people remember this ground-breaking day? Unfortunately they didn’t, despite me reminding them every two weeks when I travel between Dubai and Bahrain. No card, no happy birthday. There was a boarding reminder however (does that count?).

Technology is a wonderful business leveler. I was impressed by an airline that is low-cost and that has a fleet of four planes. In contrast Emirates has at least 190 planes and spends ridiculous sums on marketing every year, which Bahrain Air certainly does not. That Bahrain Air was able to make an impression at such a low cost says wonders for their marketing team, unlike the good people at Emirates. Now if only they were able to offer an added incentive to travel with them, a call to action such as a small discount, I’d probably have gone and booked immediately.

As for Emirates that day, even the world-class persuasive powers of my wife weren’t enough to get us an upgrade (it’s his birthday she said with a stern voice). And to top it off, the in-flight entertainment system wasn’t working. Oh well, at least we were spared from the 15 minutes of advertising that the airline is now showing in-flight.

At least I didn’t see this on my in-flight with Emirates… (Photo credit: Themetapicture.com)