Based on the definition of strategic ambiguity as being purposefully vague to derive personal or organizational benefits by avoiding the specifics, several of such example can be witnessed from the film. The first example is when Neeleman says “events of the past week that have been documented in the press, and later saying the “events that transpired and the way that they transpired will never happen again.” He also mentions the challenges without being specific on what the challenges are. Further in the statement, Neeleman says they are beefing up the organization in the headquarter building simply referring to it as that organization without mentioning it and concludes by promising of making changes without giving specifics on the changes.
Why did Mr. Neeleman use strategically ambiguous language in this situation? Based on the information from the video, it is evident that something has happened in the company that upsets the consumers. However, it is also common knowledge that some of the consumers are not aware of the incidents. Therefore, ambiguity allows the CEO to generalize his information to all the incidents affecting different customers in one single statement. Also, ambiguity makes it difficult to hold one responsible and accountable with the outcome.
Is strategic ambiguity necessary in when companies respond to public relations fiascos? Strategic ambiguity is very necessary in responding to public relations fiasco in companies because it generalizes any possible challenges. Considering that challenges are a part of the organization or companies as steps to making them perform better, strategic ambiguity makes the organizations use the challenges as bridges for betterment and create confident in the people rather than being specific on the challenges that are sometimes human error and negligence based which can affect the reputation of the companies.
Do you think the use of strategic ambiguity helps or hinders public relations in this situation? Explain. In this situation of JetBlue airlines, strategic ambiguity helps public relations because it builds and strengthens confidence in the company. For instance, when the CEO mentions that the issues have been raised over the media and they are taking time to address them, it shows the responsibility of the company and the aim at being accountable to the customers that creates a good public relations. Also, when the CEO promises to make changes for the betterment of the customers and the crew, the customers also feel appreciated strengthening the public relations.
Recall a time when you had to make an apology. Write out a direct apology. Now convert your apology to strategically ambiguous language. Which do you prefer? Why? I am very sorry for having lost the bag that you asked me to look after. I was distracted on my mobile phone and when I looked at where the bag was, it was already gone. I am very sorry for having been careless at that point and kindly ask for your forgiveness. There are moments in our lives that we regret the mistakes we have knowingly or ignorantly made and I sincerely feel sorry for the misplacement of the property you entrusted under my care. I regret having not understood that some people take advantage of other’s vulnerable and weak points to strike negatively. I prefer the apology using the strategically ambiguous language because it makes me as a victim also of the loss.