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It is the worst job in PR and Robin is right man for role

WHEN announcing the search for a new Head of Communications for Ryanair last month, Michael O'Leary recently described the post as "the worst job in PR".

He was, in typical O'Leary fashion, to a certain extent joking. But in other ways, given the necessity to often defend the indefensible, and regularly treat their fare-paying customers with thinly-veiled contempt, he wasn't joking.

But barely a week into the job, Robin Kiely looks like he is determined to live up to the job spec so carefully nurtured by his predecessor, Stephen McNamara.



Two weeks ago, when his appointment was announced, Kiely made the pledge that "I am looking forward to keeping our 80 million passengers informed of the latest Ryanair news and developments as we continue to grow into 2013 and beyond".

One would have thought that, in attempting to do so, engaging with some of those 80 million passengers would be the minimum requirement, and that perhaps his commitment was going to signal an end of Ryanair's blanket refusal to embrace social media.

When asked last week, however, if Ryanair were going to follow the model of their competitors, and set up Facebook and Twitter accounts to stay in touch with their customers, Kiely showed that he is already 'on message' as regards Ryanair's ethos.

"A Facebook account would not be helpful to us," he replied, "as we would have so many people looking for a response."

Moreover, the company would further be obliged, according to Robin, to hire "two more people just to sit on Facebook all day".

Two lowly-paid employees, to keep 80 million happy, when you're making half a billion euro in profits a year? Only in the parallel universe of Ryanair could this really be considered an unjustifiable expense... Kiely reminded the world that Ryanair's customers already have access to the budget airline through their customer care line which, translated into non-Ryanair speak, means "why give people free access to your company through social media, when you can charge them for that access via premium-rate phone lines?"

The worst job in PR?

Looks like Robin is planning to do just that.