Posted by Lori Van Handel, Senior Public Relations Specialist
In the early months of 2013, cruise giant Carnival is having a tough time living up to its slogan of “Fun for all. All for fun.®”
First there was that highly-publicized crisis in February aboard Triumph, which left thousands of passengers without power and plumbing for days after the ship’s engine caught fire. Next came some generator problems on Dream last month and a second group of stressed and stranded travelers.
From all of the increased press surrounding Carnival and the cruise industry as a whole, these back-to-back incidents – coupled with the 2012 crash of the Costa Concordia – have created quite the stir. Right now the big question is if Carnival can bounce back from all of these troubles and how.
While some have praised the company for its recent post-crisis actions and others have pointed fingers at its lack of proactive PR, we find the story to be a great reminder of a few crisis management essentials:
• Communicate the facts, fast – Time is of the essence during any crisis and it’s important to get the particulars out there quickly. In an age when people are constantly sharing real-time pictures, posts and tweets socially, hearing the story straight from the company involved is critical.
• Don’t intentionally leave out details – The developing conditions related to the Carnival cruises were anything but pretty. But overlooking parts of the story in an attempt to “save face” can backfire and create serious credibility issues.
• Be ready to respond – For every crisis, a point person should be assigned and actively managing the situation front and center instead of behind the scenes. This contact should be prepared to answer all of the hard questions and explain how the crisis is being handled now and what will be done to prevent a repeat incident.
Posted by Brenda Timm, Director of Strategic Communications & Online Services
Ever since social media came along, there’s been speculation that the end of email would be close behind. Sort of similar to the whole “online will crush traditional media” debate.
But as we’ve learned in both cases, especially in the B2B realm, there’s plenty of room for all channels. In fact, many of the most successful marketing efforts are carefully crafted around an integrated mix.
Focusing on email specifically, we found an interesting article from American Express OPEN Forum® that shows how targeting the Inbox is still a highly-effective way to reach consumers. It shares an infographic from project management company Wrike with some eye-opening stats on email usage.
A few of the most noteworthy findings:
• There are nearly three times more email accounts than Facebook and Twitter ones combined
• 92% of Internet users communicate via email
• 58% of U.S. users start their day online by checking email versus 20% on search engines and 11% on Facebook
• 38.5% of time spent online by mobile users is on email while 11% is on social sites
• 53% of people prefer communicating with colleagues by email
• The number of corporate email accounts is expected to rise 36% from 2011 to 2014
So, if you assume that customers have abandoned email or that your regular email newsletters should be retired, think again. Email – of the desktop and mobile varieties – is stronger than ever!