Thursday, February 22, 2007

My message to David Neeleman and every other CEO out there

My message to David Neeleman: Now that you've got the JetBlue channel up on YouTube to apologize to your customers, use it more often and keep vlogging.

No doubt Mr. Neeleman has turned the negative press of the last week into a positive new outlook about JetBlue for most people who have seen this video.

After the era of "personal branding" and celebrity CEOs in the late 90s, many people tend to think of company CEOs as arrogant and aloof. If more company leaders sent out sincere messages like this, no matter what the news ... good or bad. That would change quickly.

David has been blogging on the JetBlue Web site for six months. Most of his blog entries read like announcements or press clippings from his journeys around the various JetBlue destinations. But none of them make the sincere and personal connection that this video does.

Sometimes, great ideas come out of near catastrophes. Not every CEO has Mr. Neeleman's charisma. But this message was not designed to be charismatic. It was a heartfelt talk with his customers.

I think every CEO of a micro-cap or small-cap public company ought to consider using this powerful medium to speak about their hopes and dreams to customers and investors. Forget the stiff financial presentations and interviews and get out your videocams. It's a new world.

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