«Return to Blog List Heathrow’s Bold Storytelling Project – Good Idea or too Risky?


I adore airports.

Sure, they’re big, busy and the source of a lot of stress and frustration at times. But they’re also endlessly interesting.

I got a firsthand, daily view during three summer stints in high school and college as a passenger services aid (“wheelchair girl”) at the massive Dallas/Ft. Worth airport.

Among people coming and going from every direction in the world, there were tearful family reunions, health emergencies, celebrities, weather scares, and all the usual yelling that delays induce. The drama never stopped.

That’s why I’m excited to hear about a new airport storytelling project at London’s Heathrow.

It’s a risky, uncontrolled approach to capturing customer stories. Heathrow has hired a writer, a successful author, to spend a week in the airport collecting passenger stories.

The catch: The writer asked to be able to write about whatever he sees.

The stories will go into a book published next month, to be handed out to passengers.

It’s an interesting approach. Instead of controlled customer stories to enhance public perception, the airport is pulling back the curtain to let the stories be told as they may. Pretty bold!

I still feel like the airport has veto power over what’s published. They hired the writer after all.

What do you think? Smart PR move or too risky?

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