Carnival Cruise Floats Settlement Offer to Capsized Costa Concordia Cruise Passengers 

Interesting, informative and insightful, veteran public relations professional, Jeff Mustard, in his Part IV Case Study provides a fascinating inside-industry analysis of the mass-media coverage of the Crisis Communications Strategies of the Costa Cruise / Carnival Cruise Lines Ship Sinking Disaster

by jeff mustard Wednesday, February 01, 2012
Timing is everything and from the beginning, since the Costa Concordia Ship disaster began, Carnival Cruise lines have had time on their side. From the ship sinking, at 10 PM on Friday, January 13th, followed by a three-day reprieve with the stock market not opening for a full day of trading until four days after their disaster. While the ship sinking and the crisis that ensued clearly meets the definition of a disaster, purely from a public relations and crisis management point of view, veteran public relations expert Jeff Mustard offers intuitive and insightful analysis of the crisis communications management strategies that Carnival has implemented under the direction of its publicly announced hiring of Burson-Marsteller.

By definition, Crisis Management, is “the act, manner, or practice of managing, supervising or controlling” a situation, protecting a company’s name, brand and consumer loyalty, preserving its reputation as much as its shareholder stock, and mitigating or minimizing to as much a degree as possible negative consumer public perceptions. In this regard, by all accounts Burson-Marsteller, the public relations company called in to handle the ship sinking disaster on the third day of the accident on behalf of Carnival Cruise Lines is performing brilliantly in their handling of the Costa Concordia Ship Sinking Disaster.

Mixed Opinions on Crisis PR Management: Bottom Line, Stock has Stabilized
"There have been mixed opinions about what Carnival has done right, what is has done wrong and how it might have handled things better or different, from all sorts of pundits, public relations professionals, members of the media and certainly the public," says Jeff Mustard, a veteran public relations professional and the president of The Bamboo Agency, ( a full service advertising and marketing firm that specializes in public relations.

Regardless of all of these opinions Mustard points to one absolute indisputable fundamental benchmark about how a company fares in the wake of a crisis. What is that status of the stock? While there is still a long way to go regarding unfolding developments for both Costa Cruise and Carnival, in the early term, and on this note, Carnival is in a “contained” situation. While the stock initially sank by 14%, it then recovered within days and is hovering around the $30 share mark, a little more than 10% off its high prior to the accident. Not bad for a company that could be facing the write off of a $450 million cruise ship and a still unknown value in lawsuits. Losses have been estimated in the range of anywhere from $150 million to $1 billion. Then there are the implications to the cruise industry in general, no small consideration in this entire crisis equation. And yet, by in large, despite some media murmurings here and there, Carnival as a company has done a superb job of maintaining its distance from Costa, a clear objective of the company that has been met with varied criticism, but to great effect.

Communications Expert, Public Relations Professional Publishes Part IV, Crisis Communications Case Study of the Carnival Cruise Ship Crisis
There are myriad issues and multiple constituencies that a company and its crisis management team must be concerned with and address in the hours, days and weeks as a crisis is unfolding in real-time and Mustard, a public relations professional who has handled numerous crises situations for clients, has been a close observer of the ship disaster. The South Florida-based publicist, who has captured tens of millions of dollars of media exposure for his clients, has just published his fourth report, a 12-page Crisis Communications Case Study that lends his critical eye and expert analysis to a total of four cases studies produced since the Costa Concordia flipped on its side causing one of the greatest maritime disasters in about a century.

This Part IV Crisis Communications Case Study examines the public relations, the politics and the crisis communications messaging of Carnival. It delves behind the scenes of Carnival’s Settlement offer and it discusses the logic behind the lack of visibility of Carnival CEO, Micky Arison and then the tactical reemergence of the billionaire businessman, Arison, first seen by the public and the media courtside at a Miami Heat basketball game.

Read the Case Study, Part IV Now:

Within 72 hours of the announcement that one of Carnival's leading luxury brands, the Costa Cruise Line crippled itself after colliding with rocks just a few hundred yards off the Italian coastline, Mustard has monitored the crisis purely from a public relations and crisis management perspective. By the end of the first week, Mustard generated three reports and in the process has provided what is perhaps the most detailed public relations and crisis communications analysis. The completion of the fourth case study brings the media experts coverage to a total of 63 pages of riveting analysis comprising more than 25,00 000 words examining the crisis. In his highly insightful analysis, Mustard has provided thoughtful, revealing inside-industry commentary reviewing how both Costa and Carnival have reacted to the incident, includes news accounts about how the media has portrayed Carnival Cruise lines and its top CEO, Micky Arison, and reactions from the general consumer public.

About Jeff Mustard

Jeff Mustard is the President of the Bamboo Agency, a multiple award-winning advertising, marketing and public relations firm. Jeff Mustard is the co-author and ghost writer for a Wall Street Journal Best Selling book, an award-winning documentary writer/producer/director and the recipient of numerous awards for creative achievements in advertising, marketing and mass-media communications. His work has been published locally, regionally and nationally in print, radio and television. He has earned tens of millions of dollars in media exposure for his clients in print, radio and television, nationally and internationally. He has served as Director of Communications for multi-national corporations as well as spokesperson for high-ranking members of government at the Gubernatorial, White House and United Nation’s levels.

Company Website:
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Contact: Jeff Mustard – 954 – 801-8263 |

A multiple award-winning full-service advertising, marketing and public relations firm, The Bamboo Agency provides extraordinary creative services in mass media marketing and the broadcast arts. From brochures to national branding, and absolutely everything in between, we create and execute exceptional marketing campaigns for your company, product or service.

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