Costa Concordia a PR Nightmare!

Costa Concordia

Almost a month later and still there is no statement released from Carnival Cruise Ships the parent company of the Costa Concordia, an 114,500-tonne cruise liner, which slammed into a rock off the island Of Giglio Italy. With the ship now perched on a rocky ledge further up the coast there is now 32 people dead!

This is another company which has demonstrated compete negligence in regards to the public relations nightmare, which has resulted.  Why are corporations not investing in communications and practicing their releases in the event that a situation like this should arise.

Maybe Carnival Cruises should look at BC Ferries Communication’s Policies.  On March 22, 2006 at 1 AM, BC Ferries’ The Queen of the North sank just south of Prince Rupert BC upon hitting Gil Island. The PR response to this accident was commendable.   “It shook the company to its core,” B.C. Ferries president David Hahn said Tuesday of the only such accident in the 52-year history of the privately operated, but provincially owned, entity (Globe and Mail). They knew exactly when the ferry had hit the island, the communications team immediately jumped into action getting to the accident within the 1st hour. They worked with the local community where the accident took place. Not only did they solidify their message but they were selective in the media outlets to control the story as well.

In the end the cause of the accident was human error due to 3 BC Ferries employees who neglected their navigational duties.  Regardless of the cause, they maintained communication, kept their image intact and have regained customer loyalty.

Now theguardian is reporting the Costa Concordia passenger rep Domnica Cermortan was in love with the captain, Francesco Schettino and could have distracted him causing the crash. This was all discovered after a retired couple, passengers on board said hey say the captain entertain the  young lady and that he had drank copious amounts of wine before heading to the bridge to carry out the manoeuvre, which ultimately failed.

Really…. still nothing to say Carnival?

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3 thoughts on “Costa Concordia a PR Nightmare!

  1. lduff613 says:

    Horrendously dealt with from a PR perspective, no doubt. But do you think that there are sometimes completely lost causes from an image standpoint? Could a well prepared crisis management team made a significant impact for Carnival?

    Just some thoughts from a fellow student lol

    – Liam
    http://www.connectedandproud.wordpress.com

  2. Avery_Graham says:

    I don’t think there is ever a completely lost cause from an image standpoint.

    It’s like when you are playing basketball and the score of the opposite team is almost double yours, you only have 15 minutes left in the game. Do you give up? NO! You give it your all and put up a good fight right?!

    I think a well prepared crisis management team definitely could have made an impact. They left their company vulnerable by harming their organization, their stakeholders and the general public. They had no reactive strategy in place or didn’t see an opportunity to effectively use the media exposer and there was no “crisis leadership” to immediately, addresses both the damage and implications for the company’s present and future conditions, as well as opportunities for improvement.
    The BC Ferries example (above in my post) is a great one to look at how they effectively handled the PR.

    PR Successes:

    Mattel in summer 2007 when they experienced 2 toy recalls in 2 weeks. The company “did everything it could to get its message out, earning high marks from consumers and retailers.

    Pepsi Cola 1993 syringes in their diet Pepsi cans

    Tylenol (Johnson and Johnson)

    Other PR Failures:

    BP Oil
    Bhopal
    Exxon

    Thoughts?

    • lduff613 says:

      I agree completely, I think that the a company is always better off with a crisis management response, ‘no news’ is not good news in this scenario.

      I think that as a nature of the business they’re in (where the possibility of a disaster of this sort exists) they should have proactively laid out a crisis management plan. So that when something happens they would know the right people to call, exactly like your BC ferries example. I don’t know a lot about what happened with BC ferries but it does seem like they did everything right

      As you mentioned I think Tylenol issue is a prime example of what every company should look at it for a best-case practice. They constantly communicated with the public, no matter if the news is good or bad. they made sure that everyone was constantly updated. Which is something that should have happened with the concordia, they should have been the source of all information and facilitating a open flow of info, not to mention taking care of all the guests that got off the ship.

      Long story short your basketball example is right, they shouldn’t ever throw in the towel. And i believe that despite the tragedy a comprehensive crisis response won’t fix what happened but it will save the company (even if they just become a case study of what to do right, just like your examples). Plus a better response will make a difference for everyone that was affected, it shows a more caring side to a large corporation.

      that was a very long-winded way of agreeing with you haha

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