United Airlines has found itself on the receiving end of social media outrage in recent weeks. Last month, the airline was in hot water after desk attendants refused to allow young girls who were wearing leggings on a flight.
And on Monday, it faced backlash again for forcibly removing a passenger who declined to leave an overbooked plane. Videos and images from both events spread rapidly on social media and high-level officials from the airline, including CEO Oscar Munoz, have been tasked with cleaning up the public-relations nightmares.
But now Munoz is the focus of some online hate after the plane incident went viral and he apologized — prompting some social media users to notice had recently named “Communicator of the Year” by PR Week.
Social media users found PR Week‘s designation ironic, given the company’s recent PR blunders and typos many highlighted in a statement the company released in response to what’s being called #dragginggate.
PR Week said it focused mainly on the Munoz’s communication style in relation to United employees and union leaders as well as recent hires in corporate communications.
“Munoz has shown himself to be a smart, dedicated, and excellent leader who understands the value of communications,” the PR Week announcement reads. “His ability to connect and share with employees his vision for the airline, and get them to rally behind it, is a key reason PRWeek named him 2017 Communicator of the Year.” The award was issued on March 17.