Southwest Airlines

Citizenship strategy and integrated reporting
for one of the country’s most loved airlines

We identified a big opportunity for Southwest Airlines to reinforce its position as a leader in the airline industry by showing how the company’s values differentiate them from the competition, guide them in all that they do, and ultimately make their business stronger over the long term.

For three straight years, Southwest relied on thinkParallax to produce the company’s annual One Report, which highlights the company’s economic, environmental and social performance, communicated through the triple bottom line of People, Planet and Performance. Key to our effort was striking the right balance between substance and storytelling in the report, which targets a broad audience of Southwest stakeholders.

Ultimately, we shifted the focus of the One Report from WHAT the airline was doing in terms of CSR efforts to WHY it matters. The information we gathered from a cross-section of employees, volunteers, partner organizations and suppliers—combined with our knowledge and expertise in corporate reporting trends and best practices—allowed us to develop a solution to simplify content from previous reports and focus our creative energy on telling the compelling stories behind the numbers. We also challenged the company to rethink its overarching communications strategy, previously informed by the One Report at the center (i.e. what had already been accomplished), and embrace a more forward-looking approach.

Our team delivered a dedicated One Report microsite, including a series of animated videos, infographics, and an interactive PDF report with a custom report-builder tool. Equally important, we helped shift the internal mindset on CSR communications to realize an audience-focused, integrated strategy that makes a clear connection between sustainability goals and overall business objectives.

Thank you as well for tolerating my visioning, keeping me grounded, making me focus, and listening to the intricacies of my situation. You are a great team and I am proud to have you as a partner in what we are doing at Southwest, and to have you as friends.

Todd Spinks, Citizenship Communications & Outreach, Southwest Airlines

Strategy | key deliverables and activities

  • Corporate narrative development
  • Citizenship strategy
  • Corporate communications planning
  • GRI sustainability consulting
  • Corporate narrative ideation

Activation | key deliverables and activities

  • Corporate reporting
  • Web design and development
  • Video
  • Infographics
  • Southwest 2016 One Report (digital)