Piedmont Airlines faces a problem familiar throughout the aviation industry. Long predicted, the looming pilot shortage has now appeared. Retiring baby boomers combined with increased requirements for commercial flying have depleted the pool of available pilots to enter the pipeline. Piedmont asked us to show pilots how joining the airline would launch their career.
We asked Greteman Group to communicate our key competitive advantages and give pilots a reason to join a company that’s going places.JACKIE JENNINGS
director of corporate communications
A key challenge is that regional carriers, such as Piedmont, seek the same group of talent to serve an increasingly competitive marketplace. But Piedmont has some unique recruitment advantages. Being a captain at a major airline such as American – Piedmont’s parent – evokes an image of glamor and respect. Also, the landscape has improved. After years of industry consolidation and uncertainty, the industry has stabilized. Piedmont has resiliently stood the test of time. Passenger demand’s growing and Piedmont’s ramping up to meet it. The company needs an identity and message to represent that change in an environment of status quo.
To create a distinctive visual identity, we took inspiration from both Piedmont’s rich history and its modern connection. Bold diagonal stripes mimic those of Piedmont’s Speedbird logo – a beloved icon of a get-it-done era of commercial travel. The dramatic color palette strikingly emphasizes American Airlines and the direct path Piedmont pilots have for future employment. Bold messages communicate opportunities unmatched by other regional carriers. While some regionals offer a chance, Piedmont offers a career. Piedmont’s “guaranteed job” with American means much more than a “preferred interview” with another carrier. A digital campaign activating banner ads, video and social media promote Piedmont’s advantageous east coast location and industry-leading pay scale.
Piedmont asks prospective candidates to do their homework in deciding which airline is right for their career. Through a robust microsite, we provide the tools and information for pilots to do just that. Powerful charts and infographics illustrate the differences. Pilots quickly see Piedmont’s strengths through salary, bonuses and upgrade time comparisons. Dramatic photography shows off Piedmont’s expanding fleet of Embraer jets. Pilots see a Piedmont that’s on the move. An airline that’s the right fit for them. Comprehensive monthly reporting allows us to measure tactics against application benchmarks, leading to an ongoing campaign that consistently exceeds expectations.
The pilot recruitment campaign doubled monthly application goals in the first year.