Iceberg ship media team ‘learn lesson’ from crisis

The PR agency behind the Antarctic cruise ship sunk by an iceberg last Friday has warned PROs to ensure their clients are media trained for any crisis situation.

‘Even if you do not think you will have a crisis, make sure your most senior person in every country is media trained,’ warned Mulberry Marcoms CEO Chris Klopper.

Klopper said the Explorer accident had been a ‘lesson’ for him and the account team working for travel client G.A.P Adventures. He said he was relieved that UK sales and marketing director John Warner had been taught to deal with the media, after the ship’s disaster and passenger evacuation sparked a worldwide press frenzy over the weekend.

‘We put John on every TV and radio station, and he was able to calm and reassure,’ said Klopper.
The account team at Mulberry worked all Friday and throughout the weekend. It handled a 24-hour press office, dealing with international media and with foreign offices and embassies trying to track down passengers.

Klopper also told how he used a coincidence as positive PR leverage during the crisis. ‘A Danish guy proposed to his girlfriend in a lifeboat,’ he said. ‘This was like manna from heaven and, with the couple’s knowledge, we then majored on this to give a positive twist to the whole rescue management story.’

Mulberry will now work with G.A.P Adventures to ­rebuild its reputation and prevent travellers who have booked trips from cancelling.

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