WEDNESDAY 25 JAN 2012 11:53 AM


Following the sinking of the cruise ship, the Costa Concordia, comms professionals have criticized the crisis communications of Costa Cruises.

Criticisms include the delay in producing a spokesperson and the decision to quickly attribute fault to the captain for the incident. Costa Cruises have contested the reports of affected customers being offered a discount on future cruises and have stated that all advertising initiatives have been cancelled.

John Deverell, chief executive of new crisis management consultancy, Keyhaven, comments, “Overall, as far as the cruise ship crisis is concerned, there is a pervading sense that the wreck was caused by incompetence and the company’s actions and statements since then have done nothing to dispel this negative view.”

He concludes: “Recovery of reputation will be a long and hard slog and needs a very different approach from now on in.”

Commenting, Sandy Lindsay, group MD at Tangerine PR says: “The ‘radio silence’ when the tragedy first struck was profound. Where was the representative on the scene? Badly done Costa Crociere and badly done Carnival – where were you?”

Holding company, Carnival Cruises has just resumed activity afer taking a break from social media activity, “out of respect for all those affected.”  The Costa Cruises Facebook page, however, continued to be regularly updated throughout.

Burston-Marsteller has been brought on board to handle the corporate and crisis comms following the incident. Clarence Mitchell, MD at Burson-Marsteller, explains that the priority now for the communications strategy is to, “Make sure the company’s position is accurately represented.”