Tue, Dec 05, 2006
The Court Of Public Opinion Has Been Convened
They've made their case to
investors, creditors, and management... and now, US Airways is
taking its proposal to merge with Delta Air Lines before the court
of public opinion.
According to USA Today, US Airways has hired a New York PR firm
to garner public support for its surprise move last month to take
over Delta. The firm even produces an electronic newsletter that
reports even the smallest development in the pending deal... with a
clear slant towards the US Airways position.
"They do aggressive financial PR, and they are very good at it,"
said US Airways Senior Vice President Elise Eberwein said of the
Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher PR firm.
Not surprisingly, Delta has also brought on a
public relations firm close to the airline to get its message out
-- that the airline prefers to stay independent after it emerges
from Chapter 11 bankruptcy next year.
That means a full-page ad in Atlanta newspapers... and employees
distributing 50,000 bright red "Keep Delta My Delta" buttons. US
Airways has countered by meeting with newspaper editorial boards,
to garner their support.
Both sides are also rallying
their investors and employees behind the scenes.
In the end, the general public will not have a vote on whether
the two airlines merge operations... but both sides feel that
public opinion may help sway those who will decide.
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