A recent post from the VP of Marketing for Boeing (Randy Baseler) illustrates the perfect way to use a blog for public relations and to get your corporate viewpoint transparently into the online dialogue. It’s an ongoing challenge for Boeing to connect with consumers, considering most of the relationship a individuals have with the travel industry are through providers such as airlines and hotels. Individuals don’t buy anything from Boeing — but they are influencers for Boeing’s real customers. In his blog, Randy offers a believable, thorough and genuine assessment of the real difference between the Boeing 737 and the Airbus A320. Though I doubt he travels in economy class, the honest opinion he offers is that for an economy class traveler, despite Airbus’ claims, there really isn’t that much difference between the room offered by the seats. Along the way, he brilliantly counters Airbus’ misleading marketing which promises an extra 7 inches of space by asserting that they measure this from the exterior fuselage – an irrelevant measurement. His original post on March 2nd was picked up in online discussion forums about travel, and clearly had the intended effect … to spark a debate. The follow up post last week offered more details and changed the issue from one of width to performance and schedule. In the end, the picture painted in the consumer’s mind is that (1) Airbus offers only 1/2 inch of extra room (rather than the 7 inches they claim), (2) that they dishonestly exaggerated their marketing, and (3) that Boeing offers more reliable planes that leave on schedule more often anyway. And wouldn’t you rather leave on time than have 1/2 an inch of extra space? Take that Airbus!