More than 200 employees of the Louvre museum in Paris walked off the job because they were fed up dealing with thieves that had increased in numbers and aggressive tactics.
As Carnival Cruise takes on its FOURTH disaster in 29 months — Carnival Splendor’s “SPAM cruise” November 2010, Costa Concordia’s grounding January 2012 (owned by Carnival Cruise), last month’s Carnival Triumph toilet cruise and this month’s nightmare aboard Carnival Dream – it seems Carnival would be getting pretty good at crisis communication because if nothing else, they’ve had a lot of practice!
Certainly any luxury vacation gone awry is media fodder if for no other reason than the dichotomy of the reality of primitive conditions juxtaposed with the brochure images of pampered comfort.
Carnival has certainly had their challenge to re-shape, perhaps even correct, the images that have now permeated the public consciousness related to their cruise offerings and perhaps the cruise industry as a whole. Certainly it is hard to sell luxury service when personal safety, let alone comfort, is not assured.
It is interested to look at the thoughts of some crisis communication experts on their impression of how well Carnival handled the Carnival Triumph issue (keep in mind these opinions are pre-Carnival Dream).
These links are thanks to Hennes-Paynter Communications’ free Crisis Comm & Media Relations E-Newsletter.
- Carnival must get at the underlying cause of these engine fires.
- Carnival needs to reexamine its disasters plans to include more public accountability
- Carnival needs to prepare for tougher fights with safety watchdogs and officials.
The list of actions Carnival took in response to the problem is long and robust…
- the fire in the engine room was quickly extinguished by the ship’s fire suppression system
- auxiliary power to the most critical systems
- Coast Guard was notified and quickly arrived on scene
- leadership team and Carnival Care team immediately mobilized.
- CEO offered a public apology and promised refunds, $500 cash, free flights home and credits for future cruises.
- Carnival booked more than 1,500 hotel rooms, 20 chartered flights and 100 motor coaches to house passengers and get them home
The cruise was ruined, but passengers were safe and the ship was stable.
The media, however, tells a different story.
1. Carnival may not have adequately understood their risk environment but did not consider the impact and risk that the media could have on their reputation, and did not develop a plan to mitigate it.
2. Carnival may have overlooked planning and decision making during a crisis having planned for an engine fire, power outage and disabled ship, but they perhaps did not account for the sewage, ventilation and food issues they experienced; the availability of the media to grab hold of the story in an otherwise slow news week; and how passengers would communicate the ship’s conditions in dramatic fashion with people on shore.
3. The failure to develop an appropriate communications plan meant that Carnival did not adequately communicate with passengers or the media.
The Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show scheduled to open early last month in Harrisburg, Pa. was postponed when the show’s organizer decided to ban military-style firearms and large ammunitions clips which led to almost 25% of the event’s exhibitors pulling out of the show.
This is not a gun-control post.
This is Contingency Planning for Special Events post. Specifically, if you’ve attended the seminar, it’s an example of a Plan B which includes knowing when and how to cancel.
It’s also an example of a business disruption for the outfitters and exhibitors that have made the annual exposition a major part of their marketing plan.
In an effort to make better use of limited resources Chicago became the latest major city to implement a policy in which officers do not physically respond to non-life-threatening calls.
Like Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Newark, New York, and Philadelphia, Chicago will now handle “non-criminal complaints or crimes in which no one is in imminent danger” over the phone. 911 operators will transfer calls such as car thefts and simple assaults to desk officers who will fill out police reports over the phone.
In a Wall Street Journal article last month opponents to the policy expressed concern of not only the potential to miss crime evidence but of increased fraud. The article pointed out a pattern that emerged in Newark shortly after the policy was enacted where fraudulent calls to report stolen cell phones were a ploy to use the police reports to avoid paying phone bills.
The overall goal of the new policy is reverse what Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn describes as a predicament “where police spend almost their entire time reacting to crimes rather than preventing them.”
The article does not include a look at the evolution of technology discussed in earlier posts, but it seems there should be some residual benefit from the increase number of security cameras and similar devices.
Your comments are appreciated. Is this a good use of limited resources or an invitation for increased minor incidents?
Unfortunately fixes to aging infrastructure brings its own brand of pain and suffering.
Case in point is the anticipated opening of Cleveland’s Inner Belt bridge. It is the first of two new bridges and is intended for westbound traffic. However, for the next three years or so it will be handling both east- and westbound traffic while the current aging structure is demolished and the new eastbound span is erected. Because the soon to open span is designed for westbound traffic, it lacks several exit ramps for eastbound traffic which will greatly challenge those businesses dependent on access coming from the eastbound traffic.
Do you have any advice on how to deal with this challenge? Has this happened to your business? What helped?
Regardless of how you believe humans came into being, the idea of evolution is a real one. We see examples of it every day.
Today’s post offers us an example of how the Internet and its red-headed step child Social Media is part of an evolution that is causing real change in our society. This is not an opinion piece (perhaps my “read-headed step child” comment does have opinionated undertones) but merely a look at the evolutionary forces at work.
In a piece posted by CNN’s Bruce Schneier we can see examples of the evolution, and perhaps erosion, of anonymity. The three examples Schneier gives shows how even those highly motivated to maintain their anonymity (hackers and adulterers) can be identified and exposed. Perhaps a triumph of justice and a hooray for the investigative work of the good guys but unnerving when one realizes the full implications of this new reality.
In another piece, the ugly circumstances of the recent “Steubenville Rape Case” expose another evolution. In this case another CNN commentator, Ric Simmons, noted that the texts, videos and online posts we create “a permanent record of …impressions, opinions and beliefs which could later be used in court.”
Sammons notes that happenstance gave us the infamous Rodney King video but the chances that anything we do today will be captured on camera, video, social media posts or other real-time capture/documentation has dramatically increased so much that “when we commit crimes, the world – and more importantly, the future jurors in our case – will be watching.”