Environmental activists often target shipping operations because vessels are both highly visible and essential to the global industrial activity they oppose.
Major environmental groups have well organised and very experienced media teams that work to draw as much attention as possible to their cause. These groups often know that a confrontation is the best way to generate interest and, be it putting protesters in the water or interrupting a press conference, they will try to get attention any way they can.
Our strategy focuses on providing factual information and a counter narrative without directly engaging in an argument with them.
By monitoring social media, working with our local partners and checking other online media sources we are sometimes able to identify planned protests in advance. With this intelligence, we work to change the vessel’s berthing plan or in other ways avoid the impact of the planned demonstrations. When avoidance is not possible, our intelligence allows us to ensure the best possible media response.
When dealing with protests it is essential to recognise the audience segments that exist. Some people will always side with environmentalists against anything connected to shipping. These people should not be the target of any media response strategy as any effort will be wasted. Instead, the focus must be on moderates who can be reached by providing an alternative point of view for the events (i.e. the protesters are endangering the vessel’s safety).
Our teams which can be mobilised to the scene are experienced dealing with protest situations around the world. We will work with all relevant parties including the local police and port authorities to ensure the safety of everyone involved and to reduce the impact on our client as much as possible.
We are prepared to serve as a spokesperson or to brief an appointed spokesperson from the company to ensure that protestors are not in a position to dominate the coverage without balance being provided on behalf of the shipping company.