July Monthly Luncheon

July 12, 2017
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
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Houston Racquet Club
10709 Memorial Drive
Houston, TX 77024
Venue website

“How a Fiasco Changed the Airline Industry: United Airlines’ customer service fiasco led the industry to change decades-old overbooking policies"

Bruce will discuss how one customer service mistake, certainly a bad one, when compounded by serious communications response failure, can have lasting impact on a company and even an industry. Just as in the old adage, “it’s not the crime, it’s the coverup,” the initial responses from United doomed the airline with the public.  What we say and do when something bad happens is what we are ultimately judged on.

Speaker: Bruce Hicks, General Manager-Houston, THE ALLIANT GROUP

Bruce Hicks is a senior public relations and crisis management consultant with nearly 50 years of experience in the news media and public relations fields.

He has operated the Houston offices of The Alliant Group and its predecessor firm, Darcy Communications, since 1989, serving a wide range of international, national and local clients in travel and tourism, airlines, energy, commercial real estate development, legal, technical and manufacturing industries. His clients have included American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Marriott International, Wyndham Worldwide, United Airlines, Virgin America, Aeromexico airlines, World Airways, AirTran Airways, Atlantic Southeast Airlines, Allstate Insurance, KPMG Peat Marwick, American Express Travel Related Services Company, Ethyl Corporation, Coastal Corporation, Crown Central Petroleum, Olympic Figure Skating Gold Medalist Tara Lipinski, Mexico City Tourism Board, Hawaiian Airlines, Mexicana Airlines, Midway Airlines and others.

Hicks is recognized as an expert in crisis management with experience in labor (contract negotiations, strikes, lockouts, corporate campaigns, union organizing), financial (bankruptcy, takeovers), legal and regulatory (lawsuits, government investigations and hearings), and physical (airline crashes, office building fires) crises.  His crisis work also includes developing crisis and emergency operating plans for clients.  He has directed or supported communications during six major airline fatal accidents.

In his 41 years as a public relations executive, he has both agency and corporate experience, including his highly public role as vice president, corporate communications for Continental Airlines and Texas Air Corporation for the first decade of deregulation. As a journalist, Hicks was the spaceflight bureau chief for both United Press International and the Houston Chronicle, night city editor of the Austin American-Statesman and editor of the weekly Austin Citizen.


$40.00 Members
$47.00 after 5:00 pm July 7

$47.00 Guests
$52.00 after 5:00 pm July 7

$26.00 Student Ticket