The events that lead up and followed the tipping and partial destruction of the Costa Concordia cruise liner off the coast of the Tuscan island on January 15th, 2012 were horrific and quite possibly preventable. Reports of the boat’s captain attempting to bring the liner close to shore to allow locals a better view have surface as have rumors of a boat staffer attempting to communicate with family members on shore. Whether these allegations are true or a different alibi arises, one issue stands true: it was a tragic event.
What do events like these call for? Crisis communication, of course.
As this story has been covered by every major news (even Entertainment Tonight) outlet in the world, I have not been able to read up on every account. Yet from what I’ve gathered from TV broadcast and on-line reading I’ve produced two major tweeks that may benefit the Carnival Corp. representatives, their publicists and possibly the survivors of the accident.
Facts, facts, facts: Every boat has its own set of numbers such as length, weight, speed, number of rooms, number of life jackets, napkins in the dining hall at dinner, ect. Important numbers such as how fast the boat can travel and how many stories tall the boat is are vital digits the public deserve to know. An image of the capsized boat is not enough without the proper numbers and measurements to back up how the accident happened. Giving the public information such as how many feet under water the boat is under or how much rubble is left in the ocean would give the public more pieces of the puzzle to put together thus making them more informed.
Survival stories: Just this morning I saw a report on USA Today about the survivors of the cruise ship only having 19 more days to make property claims on personal items that were lost of destroyed in the ship’s tipping. Several interviews were aired with survivors telling how horror stories of that terrible days and they still suffer from the trauma. I think by giving the tragic accident a face (or faces) the general public will be more willing to listen to the story and relate. For instance, one interviewer spoke about how they knew a woman who was killed on the boat who was celebrating her honeymoon. The individual’s story could spark an entire series hosted by Dateline or 20/20 spotlighting the personal lives of those most affected by the boat.
Referring back to my first tweek, the following link will direct you to USA Today’s breakdown of the most recent financial setback the two cruise lines will see and how they plan on handling the situation.
Once again, our thoughts and prayers are with those who lost family members in this unbelievable tragedy.