Social Media Matters: Carnival Cruises takes on PR nightmare online

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, March 1, 2013
Metro section

Carnival Cruises takes on PR nightmare online

You have to give it to Carnival Cruises, when its ship Triumph broke down recently on a disastrous cruise that created headlines in the media for a week, they didn’t back down from talking about the issue on their social media channels. But was it enough? Some say no.

They get points for trying, but according to online reports, their efforts only kicked in a few days after the ship’s power went out. They used two Twitter accounts to respond and update (@CarnivalCruise and @CarnivalPR) and used their Facebook page, as well. They weren’t terribly reactive to negative posts but responded to positive posts quickly. With 3,100 passengers on board tweeting their anger about living conditions on the (former) luxury cruise ship, it wasn’t exactly an option to ignore it all. A negative hashtag about the ordeal even trended for a time on Twitter — #cruisefromhell.

Carnival Cruises logoEventually, the crippled ship was towed to Mobile, Alabama, where tired and dirty passengers finally disembarked and sent home on Feb. 15. Unfortunately, the corporate tweets and Facebook updates stopped from Feb. 15 to Feb. 19 over an American long weekend. Just when the company could have continued damage control after the passengers disembarked, they stopped talking. Yeesh!

To read about Carnival’s social media mistakes during the ordeal, search for “Carnival’s missed opportunity for social media success during the Triumph crisis” posted to Skift.com on Feb. 21.

According to the article written by Samantha Shankman, “As one of the more favored cruise lines on the Internet, the troubled travel giant was in a prime position to (… use social media to its advantage): It is the most liked cruise line on Facebook with 2,192,322 likes and the third-most followed cruise line on Twitter with 72,643 followers.

“Although it posted 20 Triumph-related posts to Facebook since the incident, it failed to use social media to update family members, press, and onlookers to the conditions and status of the Triumph during last week’s travails, choosing instead to use it as a mouthpiece from CEO Gerry Cahill’s press conference and apology session.”

Top survival websites

SurvivalEvery week, I take a look at the top 10 sites in a category among Alexa.com’s website rankings. If you’re a worrywart and are constantly concerned about disaster striking, these survival-themed websites will be right up your alley. Statistics are current to Feb. 26.

1) Ready (According to its website, “Launched in February 2003, Ready is a national public service advertising (PSA) campaign designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies, including natural and man-made disasters.”); 2) NOAA Weather Information (U.S. government weather information and alerts); 3) The Disaster Center (Internet resource for worldwide disaster information); 4) Solar Cooking Plans (All the information you need regarding for solar cookers, ovens and water pasteurizers); 5) Potassium Iodide Radiation Protection FAQ (Nuclear disaster survival information); 6) Mrs. Survival (One-stop source for preparedness information geared toward women); 7) Fire Extinguisher 101 (Everything you needed to know about fire extinguishers); 8) Institute for Business and Home Safety (Information for making homes more resistant to hurricanes and other planning advice); 9) Captain Dave’s Survival Center (News and information including disaster types, evacuation planning, food and water preservation); 10) Emergency Preparation Forum (Emergency and disaster preparation).

This week’s featured YouTube channels

Apple logoEvery week, I feature YouTube channels for you to check out. Statistics are current to Feb. 26. Have a favourite YouTube channel? Let me know and I may feature it here.

1) Every Steve Jobs Video (7,176 subscribers): Apple co-founder Steve Jobs would have been 58 on Feb. 24, so the same Apple fan who created the YouTube channel featuring all the Apple ads he could find (see next featured channel on this list) decided in late December 2012 that he would commemorate the day by creating a second channel, this time dedicated to hosting every video of Mr. Jobs that he could find online. So far, about 150 videos have been uploaded, giving the channel a total of more than 120,000 video views to date. (Most popular video: Steve Jobs FUNNIEST moments (1978-2011) – 77,650 views.)

2) Every Apple TV Ad (ever made) (15,776 subscribers): This is the original YouTube channel started by the same Apple fan who went on to create the first channel on this list. Launched as a one-stop resource for every Apple television ad available online, the channel was founded in October 2012 and has racked up more than 1.5 million views to date. The channel hosts an impressive 510 videos. (Most popular video: Apple iPhone 5 ad featuring Venus & Serena Williams – Dream (2013) – 101,320 views.)

3) Apple (1,051,555 subscribers): The two previously mentioned Apple fan sites are a marketer’s dream come true. What better tribute can there be to a venerable brand such as Apple than to have fan-created websites dedicated to its greatness? Well, this particular channel is the real deal – Apple’s official corporate channel on YouTube featuring playlists focusing on the iPad, iPhone 5 and iPad Mini. (Most popular video: Apple – Introducing Siri on iPhone 4S – 8,756,108 views.)

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