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The Travel Industry has suffered plenty of blows in the past year, thanks to videos that go viral. But while some airlines failed to adequately address the reputational risk arising from customer footage of regrettable moments, Carnival Cruise Lines recently proved that a quick, thoughtful response to potentially-damaging video can actually boost a company’s reputation.
Transparency in the Face of Adversity Builds Trust
When a water line for one ship’s sprinkler system sent water gushing into a passageway in the midst of a Caribbean cruise, one guest’s Facebook video post replete with Titanic references quickly surged to 1.3 million views. But Carnival Cruise Lines responded swiftly—both on board where the crew took less than six hours to fix the leak, replace the carpeting and return the staterooms to pristine condition and in the public eye as the video gained a wider audience.
Covering the company’s response, Inc. contributor Minda Zetlin wrote, “I’m pretty sure that having a passenger post video of part of the ship underwater with text that reads ‘say a prayer for us all’ is high on the list of things you never want to have happen.” She went on to outline how Carnival offered a powerful lesson on turning reputational risk around—and transparency was crucial. The company could have easily stopped passengers from taking video—or temporarily suspended Wi-Fi to hinder sharing video with a wider audience—but instead crew members smiled for the cameras as they formed a “bucket brigade” to remove the water. As a result, current and future passengers alike saw that Carnival wasn’t trying to hide the unfortunate malfunction and was working hard to correct the problem—probably the best way it could ease people’s minds. Moreover, the company leapt into action on the media front, thanking its passengers for their patience and never downplaying the incident. While these are examples of proactive PR in action, the speed of Carnival’s response highlights the importance of using effective media monitoring system and continuous risk monitoring to spot reputational risks sooner.
Risk Monitoring Allows for Proactive Damage Control
As the saying goes, “Bad news travels fast.” Given the accelerated pace of news distribution thanks to digital media, getting out in front of a potential issue requires real-time awareness. Whether you need to stay alert to in-the-moment threats to your organization’s reputation or track sanctions and watch lists to protect against third-party compliance failures, risk monitoring is an essential part of effective risk management. Red flags that signal reputational, regulatory, financial or strategic risks can be surfaced sooner when organizations leverage AI-enabled monitoring technology to scan large volumes of data from web news, social platforms, regulators, and other relevant sources. And once you have better risk visibility, you’re also better positioned to respond decisively when risk threatens to sink your reputation or your bottom line.
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