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Posts Tagged ‘Carnival Triumph’

How the Carnival Triumph Disaster Is Also a PR Opportunity

Here at PRNewser, we’re always thinking of ways to turn even the sourest lemons into sweet lemonade. As we watched the Carnival Triumph disaster play out over the long weekend, we came up with a few ways other brands could use use this foul-smelling story to their advantage:

  • Competitors could simply use this scandal as an opportunity to hype their own offerings by cutting through the negative news with humor. Just as Audi used the Super Bowl blackout to lightly mock rival Mercedes (sponsor of the Superdome), other travel brands could make references to the Triumph debacle or Carnival’s new discount service–and everyone would get the joke.
  • Rival cruise operators could create campaigns highlighting their own tech prowess with taglines like “No Triumphs in This Fleet”. Of course, there’s always the potential for backlash if these companies experience technical disasters on later cruises–but the possibly of failure rarely stops a lucrative promo campaign.
  • Another idea: travel and tourism brands could position themselves as alternatives to a troubled cruise industry. Timeshare and vacation condo companies, for example, could create a campaign called “Keep Your Feet on the Ground” emphasizing the safety of trips that don’t require travelers to leave the comfort of the land.

What do we think? The public loves humor as long as it isn’t blatantly mean-spirited, right?

Should other brands make light of the Triumph in promo campaigns or social media efforts? Have any already jumped on this opportunity?

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PR Fail: Carnival Needs More Cruise Control

In CNN‘s creatively chosen words, the troubled Carnival Triumph is expected “to finally limp into port later today”–but the PR emergency has just begun!

Cruise line executives breathed a sigh of relief last month during the industry’s peak season. This January got off to a much smoother start for them than last year, when the Costa Concordia ran aground off the Italian coast, impacting the industry’s reputation and bottom line. They were so focused on (successfully) selling their products they didn’t even have time to speak at travel industry marketing conferences.

However, cruise companies’ sense of calm has been shattered again as a result of the Carnival Triumph’s engine fire on Sunday. The vessel drifted off the Yucatan coast of Mexico for more than three days–and despite the fact that no casualties have occurred, the 3,142 stranded passengers have reported deteriorating and deplorable sanitary conditions.

The crisis is still unfolding and it’s too soon to know the full outcome. However, all signs (most prominently falling stock prices) bode badly for Carnival. So far the company hasn’t followed an effective course of action for service recovery during a crisis. Below are our takeaways from the ongoing saga.

1. Don’t keep screwing up:

Hey, accidents happen! And customers can forgive a company experiencing its first crisis. But Carnival ships have repeatedly suffered other performance and safety-related incidents. Carnival is also the parent company of Costa Concordia, so they were already on a short leash in terms of public perception. They should have taken extra precautions to avert another disaster.

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