Bill Lines

Making the network work

A credible maritime network needs members who understand the shipping business... / By Bill Lines

A global maritime crisis communications agency is only as good as its global network.

A credible maritime network needs members who understand the shipping business, are plugged into local media and are able to respond locally. Navigate Response’s network has its eyes and ears on the ground in 29 countries and is available 24/7 to our clients.

This March, 15 members of the network came to Navigate Response’s Baltic Exchange office in London to share experiences, network and learn. They came from far and wide. Senior representatives attended from Japan, USA, Nigeria, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Turkey and Greece.

On the agenda was a presentation from Jeff Lock, head of claims at the UK Club, who discussed the impact media reporting and public sentiment has on a shipping incident. He explained how the P&I system works and highlighted how a good communications strategy can support a claims team.

On the other side of the coin are the journalists themselves. The trade media often set the agenda in a shipping related incident and will deliver expert insight which is then drawn on by the wider press and commentators. Anastassios Adamopoulos, a reporter at Lloyd’s List, explained how “no comment” was not really an option for shipping companies today.

“We’re looking for the company spokespeople to provide us with the latest information and background information. If they’re unwilling or unable to provide it, we’ll just go to another source,” said Anastassios Adamopoulos. The advice to ship owners caught in the spotlight is to tell your side of the story, rather than let someone else do it instead.

Navigate Response relies on its network to drop everything and go to the scene of an incident if necessary; to provide local intelligence as to what is happening; liaise with the local media and advise on further actions. In the past few months the network has handled a major spill in the Solomon Islands; managed adverse attention surrounding a commercial dispute involving vessels in Lisbon, undertaken media training in Brazil and much more. 

Bringing the diverse crisis experts who make up Navigate’s network into the Baltic Exchange board room was an eye-opener.

The most interesting part of the two days was learning from each-other and the members’ experiences in and beyond maritime. We heard about how the media works in Nigeria, how one member of the network is working with the Catholic Church to create crisis communications plans for local churches and how last year’s accidental destruction of a Bosphorus mansion by a bulk carrier highlighted to many Turks the negative side of having one of the world’s busiest waterways passing through Istanbul.

 

For further details of the Navigate Response network see www.navigateresponse.com/global-network
To discuss joining the network, please contact Dustin Eno: dustin.eno@navigateresponse.com

 

Email: blines@navigateresponse.com

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