News affects your business-are you prepared or will you sink?

Celebrity Solstice photo from Gran Caneria, in no way related to the Costa line or tragedy

Likely you’ve seen the news and know about cruise ship Costa Concordia. You know, the Italian cruise where the captain used his ship to play chicken with the coastline, abandoned ship (oops, fell into the life boat) and tragically more than 30 people are missing  or dead.This tragedy has impacted a variety of businesses.

In my Pilates class, several friends are taking advantage of the “huge discounts” all cruise ships are offering to counter cancelled trips. The cruise line industry is feeling the repercussion of one incompetent captain, creating a public relations crisis they didn’t make and have no control over.

The Washington Post blog by Melissa Bell talks about the poor timing of an American Express direct mail piece suggesting the recipient “immerse” in the Mediterranean cruise experience aboard the…you guessed it Costa Concordia. The Amex advert was offering a $50 onboard credit for the end of February/early March cruise. Talk about timing. Now Amex is dealing with a public relations crisis, again that they didn’t create.

If the travel industry is on its game they’ll be sharing blogs and social media posts, direct mail and email conversations with their patrons about the safety records of their ships and captains, and generally addressing the concerns in addition to the incentives.

American Express if its on its game will also address the situation. I couldn’t find any media statements or comments on their website or Twitter account about cruises, their safety or their recommendations. May be you can.

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