HMA Public Relations has worked on some major crisis communication projects over the years. Sometimes we are a part of them even when we’re on vacation. This time, it was as the target audience.
While on a recent cruise to Central America, I had the opportunity to watch a cruise ship’s leadership team spring into crisis communication mode.
With 2,200 guests and a crew of close to 1,000 from all around the world, effectively communicating with them would present some challenges. There are language and cultural issues that come into play.
All must be overcome, especially when an outbreak of Norovirus occurs, with some 40 cases reported onboard.
While it did not affect any of our traveling party, the Center for Disease Control says Norovirus is a very contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea. Anyone can get infected and sick with norovirus. You can get norovirus from:
So, once it was determined that there was the potential for even more widespread sickness, passengers were provided public health reminders about symptoms, procedures and prevention via:
The use of social media to communicate this situation was an unknown, as the high cost of onboard internet access prevented many passengers from being a part of the cyberworld during the trip.
If you were onboard, there is NO way you didn’t get the message. If you didn’t, it’s enough to make you sick.