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31st January 2020

Think of it as a media workout

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It’s late and your standing that red-eye watch. There’s a moderate breeze, with a sea state 4. Visibility is 1.5 nautical miles and a full moon lights the wisp of white horses. How could there possibly be an incident?

Have you ever been called by a journalist? They usually only call when something’s gone wrong.

Recently we were handling the odd situation of a tanker accused of being involved in a significant oil spill off Brazil, when in reality she was 9,000 miles away at Gujarat and incident-free. We may be on the fringe of fake news with that one, but frankly this just had ropey reportage written all over it; confusion at source and authorities antagonising a narrative.         

Somewhere remote on the high seas, you’re glad to escape these stories. Besides, you have enough email and social media chatter to drain your down-time.

Well at Navigate Response, we are well aware of this. Crisis… What crisis? Media training is something you would rather think about when you really need it. But that’s just the point, we can never know when that is.

However, we do know our online training course takes no more than 45 minutes. Off duty you lose that in a rigorous workout or a bad choice of movie; four-times as much from the box-set you promised her you’d catch up with.

Meanwhile, we cut to the chase in an interactive session that strips down to the key essentials in media preparedness and why it matters, both at sea and whilst ashore.

The Media, Social Media and You is an online course designed for officers and crew. Full of vital tips and insights, the six modules include videos, questions and activities. There is a short test at the end and, if your score is successful, you will be awarded a certificate.

The online training course for seafarers covers:

  •  The problems with social media content – guidance that keeps you safe online
  •  How to respond when a journalist calls the vessel
  •  How seafarers fit into their company’s corporate communications strategy
  •  Your legal rights when approached by a journalist or another third party
  •  Advice for families, so they are also prepared for media approaches in a major incident  
  •  Avoiding ambushes from journalists when ashore

Highly interactive, the course includes, role play exercises, risk identification tests, a review of social platform privacy settings and much more.             

Reporters and broadcast journalists ring round companies and contacts at the outset of any major incident, often triggered by an image reaching them. Seafarers are the go-to sources for stories.

Commercial shipping crews are targeted because a journalist’s priority is speed. They are driven by a competitive edge, but critically to reach those who know the most about this before the source is closed down. This is usually when something has gone badly wrong. But it could be about an earlier voyage, the previous captain, a corporate calamity – and the reporter can’t get hold of anyone ashore.

That is why media training is seen as essential. It is also one of those areas of best practice being recognised by charterers.

Navigate Response developed this course to effectively prepare seafarers. Armed with this media awareness, seafarers will gain confidence, knowing what to do when confronted with that call to the bridge; the woman in the hotel bar – was she with Reuters? Seafarers are equipped with a way out verbally, practically – and comprehensively.

The course can be accessed on any internet-enabled device, and you don’t need to do this in one sitting, although we do recommend you complete this while you’re focused.

Protecting the company’s reputation, as well as your own must be worth 45 minutes. A media workout… Think of it this way, I just got you out of a box-set.

Jonathan Spencer

Crisis Response Manager

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