As you continue to watch Carnival Cruises respond to its Costa Concordia accident near Italy, you might be wondering how this company — and the cruise industry — can restore trust during this peak season when cash-strapped consumers are booking their 2012 breaks.
Given the infrequent appearances from executives at this world’s largest cruise line (whose brands include Carnival, Holland America Line, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Ibero Cruises, P&O Cruises Cunard, Princess Cruises, Costa), clearly Carnival’s current and future revenues are at risk unless they take action now:
- the “how” – immediate communication by the leaders of the company on its search and rescue efforts is a must. As in any corporate crisis, it’s all about speed.
- the “who” – fielding top executives from Costa’s parent company, Carnival Cruises, is a must as only they have measurable credibility for reassuring concerned relatives, friends, customers, employees, investors, media and other stakeholders. This is a much more effective way to retain (rebuild) trust rather than leaving it to trade bodies to speculate on why the accident happened.
- the “what” – demonstrating the actions being taken to all stakeholders that contingency plans are in place and being implemented is the best way to reassure people that your brand can be trusted.
- the “where” – appropriate rescue operations need to be demonstrated in online and offline media by Carnival Cruises to ensure all its partners and channels are informed and aligned with your activities. This includes travel agents, system partners (airlines, hotels, car rental companies) and others in its ecosystem.