JetBlue’s Manager of Corporate Communications, Morgan Johnston, says “The mission of JetBlue is to ‘bring humanity back to air travel.’

If that isn’t Mission: Impossible, what is?

So when I read that NY Times best-selling author and  online community expert, Chris Brogan, awarded Johnston the title “Agent Zero,” - someone who creates a bridge between a company/brand and the people, I almost saluted.

But how does Morgan approach Mission: Impossible? How does he go about building a dynamic, loyal community for JetBlue?
“I’m using social media to engage our customers,” he told me. “As I said, the mission of JetBlue is to ‘bring humanity back to air travel.”

Whether it’s a flight attendant or a reservation representative talking to a customer, doesn’t matter to Johnston. “These are all great touch points,” he added, “social media builds on that. And our crew is our audience, too,” he added.

He mentioned “KaBOOM! Builds.” KaBOOM! Is a national non-profit dedicated to saving play for America’s children.

During the last two years, 600+ JetBlue crewmembers partnered with KaBOOM! to build neighborhood playgrounds in Orlando, FL, Newark, NJ, Woburn, MA, and Queens, NY.

The JetBlue crew just finished a playground last month in Kissimmee, Florida.

Q: So what is Agent Zero’s next not-so-undercover assignment?

A:  The Boston Marathon Extra Mile Contest.

How does it work? Entrants submitted a 262 word essay online telling JetBlue why they deserve to run the prestigious 26.2 mile race.

Four qualified runners will win a spot in the Boston Athletic Association’s 115th Boston Marathon on April 18, 2011.

And – of course! – the four prizes include round trip JetBlue tickets!

I asked Morgan why the focus on Boston? He said that JetBlue is one of the largest carriers in Boston and the Official Airline of the Boston Marathon, for the sixth consecutive year. “The Marathon is important to all of our customers and we’re proud to again sponsor one of the world’s most prestigious races,” he said.

So Morgan Johnston – AKA Agent Zero – has successfully enhanced JetBlue’s influence through social media.

And that’s good news for JetBlue. “Companies who work on online trust will outperform their competitors,” added Chris Brogan.

But what does that mean for the airline’s customers?

It seems JetBlue is focused on making the skies a bit friendlier again.

Marketing Consultant, Sarah Leaf-Herrmann, contributed substantially to this report

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  • You do indeed remember correctly. That horrific event  in February 2007 was a profound wake-up call for the airline, which stepped up to the plate (terrible analogy!), owned its responsibility, and gained back customer good will...which it has valued ever since

    Btw, interestingly, among 34,800 results, our Passenger Bill of Rights 1-min TVP is right up there in top of list in Google's indexing of the event...

    Thanks for writing, Ed!

    Happy flying and good work with SATW

  • JetBlue had one of the worst stuck-on-the-tarmac scandals when it kept a planeload of passengers out there for 10 1/2 hours. Last year, if I remember correctly, it also registered as one of the worst airlines when it comes to on-time arrivals. And then there was Stephen Slater.

    But this is the Teflon airline: JetBlue does so many other things right, from encouraging the employees' sense of humor (okay, it didn't work with Slater, but it does with nearly everyone else) to the (jet) blue potato chips, from pioneering personal TV screens to the good public relations work you describe here, that almost everyone loves this airline. JetBlue made it fun to fly again -- and at affordable rates, no less. 

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