Costa Cruise Lines, the owners of the Costa Concordia that crashed along the shoreline of Italy last week, is offering an unusual discount. The survivors of the crash will be able to receive a 30 percent discount on their next cruise, hoping to keep them as loyal customers.
Of course it would have to be the percentage of survivors that aren’t filing a class action suit against the company, as well as the families of the 13 victims that died as a result of the crash, which still has yet to find 20 missing victims.
As if that isn’t comforting enough, Carnival, the cruise line’s parent company, has tried to soften the blow by calling survivors to see if they are suffering from nightmares or sleeplessness and would want counseling. Not making a statement or apology would be the ship’s captain, concerning his carelessness and supposed abandonment of the ship at the time of the crash. He is now on house arrest for suspected manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning the ship.
While the CEO of Carnival made an apology statement, along with some others, this tragedy will not only affect this cruise company, but the industry as a whole. Companies need to have their crisis PR plans available at a moment’s notice, especially in the world we live in where the news is controlled by tweets and multimedia sharing, sometimes before the media gets to it.
What could Costa Cruise have done to better serve the survivors?