PRception

May 11, 2008

A Review of Delta Airlines’ Blog

Filed under: Uncategorized — jameslutes @ 4:45 pm

I’ve done a fair amount of flying for a person my age — much of which has been on Delta Airlines. To be perfectly honest, I prefer to avoid Delta whenever possible because of its incessant penny-pinching. Delta has charged me for headphones, extra snacks, and many other airplane amenities that were free before Delta declared bankruptcy several years ago. So when I decided to review Delta’s blog for PRception, I was expecting it be as sparse and utilitarian as a Delta coach cabin. Surprisingly, this was not the case, and I was actually very impressed with the quality of Delta’s blog. Using a blog-grading criteria developed by businessandblogging.com, I reviewed Delta’s blog in several key areas and then scored it out of 80.

On a scale of 1 – 10

Ease of Finding: 9 – Delta’s blog is highly accessible and can be found by simply typing “Delta blog” into a Google search engine. The Delta blog will be the first link that appears. You can also find a link to the blog at the bottom of Delta’s homepage. The only reason I didn’t give Delta a “10” for Ease of Finding is because the homepage link to its blog is small, making it harder to find.

Frequency: 8 – Delta posts a new entry on its blog daily. Although this is somewhat frequent, I think that Delta could post multiple entries a day considering the plethora of topics its blog could address. Still, an eight out of 10 isn’t bad.

Engaging Writing: 9 – The writing on Delta’s blog is an enjoyable mix of company history, new corporate initiatives, and employee anecdotes that keeps the blog fresh and unpredictable. It also takes on a more casual writing style, rather than a professional tone, which helps humanize this multi-billion dollar corporation.

Relevant: 7 – Part of what makes reading this blog so enjoyable is that it doesn’t focus soley on Delta’s business policies and operational procedures. Instead, it discusses topics such as the most recent employee block party and Delta’s role in New York’s Tribeca Film Festival. These human interest stories make for a good read but aren’t necessarily relevant to a potential, or currrent Delta shareholder who is likely interested in more business-oriented blog content.

Focused: 7 – Like I mentioned above, the content of Delta’s blog varies and it’s difficult to expect what the following day’s post will address. There doesn’t seem to be any pattern in the content of Delta’s blog, and therefore it can’t be relied on to provide specific information a reader may be looking for.

Honest: 7 – This was the most difficult category to quantify. Delta’s blog focuses more on human interest stories and doesn’t address any sort of financial data. Because of this, there seems to be less of an incentive for the blog to be dishonest. But the decision to only discuss news that casts the corporation in a positive light may mislead readers into believing there are no problems at Delta.

Interactive: 7 – Delta’s blog allows readers to comment on posts, comment on RSS, and create a blog account. This makes the blog fairly interactive, but there are missing features, such as a discussion forum, that could make it even more interactive.

Responsive: 7 – I’m not sure how quickly the blog responds to posted comments or e-mails, but the fact that Delta’s blog has provided two-way communication channels for its readers suggests it is at least making an effort to address reader concerns.

Delta’s blog scored a 61 out of 80 according to businessandblogging.com’s blog-grading criteria. But I’d like to award the blog six bonus points for features that aren’t covered by these criteria. For example, an organized and easy to access archive of all of Delta’s blog entries was a nice feature. The layout and design was also well done, which earned it a few additional bonus points. Nice work, Delta. Now if only you could make flying in your planes as pleasant as reading your blog, you’d really be making some profits.

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9 Comments »

  1. Hey! Your blog review is really good! Mine pales compares to yours! Good job!

    Comment by jeankim012 — May 12, 2008 @ 10:10 am

  2. Yeah I agree with your bonus points. I think they should implement such categories into the blog-grading criteria because even though it may be a subtle feature, easy organization is a very important factor that can immediately relate to readership. People do not want to be confused with a complex lay out or features, way to take reader consideration in to account Delta.

    Comment by patrickfoulon — May 13, 2008 @ 8:37 am

  3. James, you make an excellent point about the disconnect between having a great blog but not providing an outstanding customer experience.

    I believe this fits into the category of what Dr. Jim Grunig casually refers to as “the little league strategy.” The bottom line is that outside efforts like having a blog or donating to the little league team are not going to make a difference if there are fundamental problems with your product, service, or way of conducting business.

    Comment by tiffanyderville — May 18, 2008 @ 12:23 am

  4. […] PRception, James Lutes’ raves about Delta Airlines’ blog as part of the Fortune 500 Business […]

    Pingback by Featuring My Students’ Blogs « The PR Post — May 18, 2008 @ 7:36 pm

  5. I just flew on Delta across the country and had a great experience. The movie was free. People could pay a few dollars if they needed headphones. Crackers and cheese were free, and there was an option to purchase meals. Back in the day, meals were free, but they didn’t taste good.

    Comment by tiffanyderville — May 20, 2008 @ 7:21 pm

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    Pingback by Bulgarian Business Society — Blog — Fortune 500 Business Blogging Wiki — April 29, 2009 @ 4:07 am

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