For travel writers to be able to inform their readers about the new route, they themselves need to have the opportunity to experience first-hand the benefit and appeal of the new destination.
To this end, international journalists representing various media interests – business, travel, and lifestyle – were invited to participate in the inaugural flight. As the date of this event approached the workload for Media Relations intensified. Such a trip requires thorough preparation as, in effect, it is a media conference that happens to take place above the clouds. During the twelve-hour flight, more than a dozen journalists talked with and interviewed Harry Hohmeister, who of course did not miss the opportunity to be aboard the first flight. The importance of this new service, the inflight product and the future plans of SWISS were among the topics under discussion. The goal, of course, was to have the new destination’s appeal communicated to the wider world as fast as possible.
While the journalists from Europe were out and about exploring San Francisco and the surrounding area, some well-known American journalists were going in the opposite direction, flying aboard SWISS from San Francisco to Zurich to research their stories about the new connection to Europe that would appear in US publications.
Opening a new route makes for a complex project for a Media Relations team too. Above all, however, is the pleasure of working together with other colleagues to launch a new route. And what happens after the inaugural flight? We Media Relations spokespersons are in regular contact with the media, providing updated information about the development and popularity of the Zurich-San Francisco route, currently one of the most in-demand services within the SWISS route network. Communication efforts contributed to this success story and will continue to do so.
But of course word-of-mouth advertising is also a good thing. So keep spreading the news: “SWISS is going to San Francisco!”