The budget airline, the bloggers and the buzz.
Ryanair have been caught in a PR storm this week and it all started with a humble blog post. Irish blogger Jason Roe, stumbled upon a glitch that meant the tickets he was buying went down to 0.00 (he didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t actually go through to book the tickets). Ryanair staff decided to get involved and comment on the posts and media mania ensued.
WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not going to comment on the implications here for RyanairÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s brand image. What weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re interested in is the implication this has for the blogosphere. It is a perfect demonstration of the power and speed of online buzz and the huge part that bloggers play in the creation and distribution of the news.
The coverage speaks for itself. Within a short space of time the story was all over mainstream media (including the Guardian and Telegraph in the UK and the Irish Times) and in front of the eyes of those who might not have previously known know what a blog is. The numbers also speak for themselves : the original blog post received over 400 comments, huge numbers for a personal blog, by any standard. Buzz around Ryanair on Twitter also shows the hysteria created online. The graph below shows the level of mentions ‘ryanair’ received on Twitter. The peaks in traffic are from 25th – 28th February.
The Ryanair story demonstrates the power that bloggers now have and the speed with which news spreads online. It also shows the ability that users have to shape your brand image, as this would not have been a PR story were it not for huge levels of noise generated about the brand online. Despite what Ryanair state is their opinion of Ã¢â‚¬Ëœlunatic bloggersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ the impact theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve had on their brand this week cannot be disputed. It is likely not coincidental that Ryanair also announched they were considering charging a penny to spend a penny this week. And our moral of the story? Listen to bloggers, you never know what they could be saying about youÃ¢â‚¬¦