Carnival Cruise Line Communication Plan


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  • State of the cruise industryCruises and cruise vacations are the fastest-growing segment of the travel industryDue to health and safety concerns, the U.S. Congress is investigating how cruise lines report crime and safety statistics, and have developed a passenger bill of rightsThe vast majority of cruise bookings—90%—come from travel agents, whom Carnival has been alienating for the last five years. Only within the last few months has Carnival been working to repair its relationship with travel agents. State of CarnivalRecent high-profile disasters have put Carnival in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons: a) The Costa Concordia ran aground and partially sank leaving 32 people dead. With the recent salvaging of the vessel and ongoing case against her captain, Francesco Schettino, will mean this story continues to be resurrected by the media.b) The Carnival Splendor had an engine room fire that left the ship with only basic emergency services and resulted in the boat being towed into San Diego with wide media coverage showing the disabled ship limping into portc) The Carnival Triumph broke-down and left passengers stranded without even basic facilities for five days and came to be known as “the poop cruise” due to the raw sewage spread about the decksd) The Carnival Dream’s voyage had to be cut short due to technical problems which resulted in roughly 4,300 passengers being flown home early and given partial refunds and discounts on future cruises2) Surveys have shown that consumer confidence in Carnival has dropped, with Carnival’s “quality” fell by 28%, “trust in the company both plummeted 26% and customer purchase intent dropped by 20%. These declines were the highest in the entire cruise industry. As such, profits this quarter are down 30% compared to this time in 2012 with revenue expected to fall 3% this year; third-quarter reports show earnings were $1.20 per share, compared with $1.71 during the same period in 20123) Ship upgrades and new safety implementations totaling upwards of $700 million are underway, which include minimizing the risk of engine room fires, installing additional back-up generators, increasing the number of water mist nozzles from 30 to 500 per ship, rerouting wiring and increasing safety patrols in the engine room. StakeholdersTravelers includes families, baby-boomers, seniors, previous/current passengersTravel agents are a key part due to their strong influence on bookingsThe media—including traditional and new, such as bloggersInternal stakeholders are Carnival employees, board members, shareholders and investorsThe government such as lawmakers and the U.S Coast Guard who regulates ship safety requirements.
  • Builds on secondary researchRefines and understands target audiences, shape message development, select communications vehicles, and gather data to assess and modify the plan. Ongoing effortsSurveys – online & phoneFocus groups – in-depth study of key audiences
  • Organizational renewal theory: crisis communication theory that argues that crises provide opportunities for organizational growth (i.e. the creation of a leadership platform). four theoretical objectives central to the discourse of renewal: organizational learning, ethical communication, a prospective rather than retrospective vision, and sound organizational rhetoric. More info at Likelihood Model: persuasion communication theory that uses knowledge and understanding of audiences to craft persuasive messages. There are two routes to persuasion in this model: the central route, which emphasizes reasoned arguments and the peripheral route which utilizes emotion, images, etc.
  • Carnival Cruise Line Communication Plan

    1. 1. Carnival Cruise Lines: Rebuilding Image and Reputation Presented by: Sara Lang Kate McNally Amy Wehinger
    2. 2. Situational Analysis & Stakeholders State of the Cruise Industry • Fastest-growing • Travel agent bookings • U.S. investigations State of Carnival • High-profile disasters • $700 million in upgrades • Confidence, occupancy & earnings down Stakeholders • Travelers • Travel agents • The media
    3. 3. Primary Research • Benchmarks • Tracking Media Research • Targets • Regular Surveys & Polls • Depth • Testing Focus Groups Ongoing Process: Data to Understand Audiences, Shape Messages, Select Vehicles, Modify Plan
    4. 4. Goals & Objectives LeaderSafety Prepared Travel Agents Families Service Goal: Overcome current challenges to profitability and long-term performance
    5. 5. Response Strategy: SMART Specific Measureable Attainable Relevant Time-Based
    6. 6. Guiding Theories Organizational Renewal Theory Crisis Learning Opportunity Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) Audience Messages Persuasion
    7. 7. Messages • Leader in safety and cleanliness • Top-notch team is prepared for any emergency • Values travel agents • The choice for fun, affordable family vacations • Cares about its customers comfort • Building a long-term strategy for profitability
    8. 8. Tactics Safety Website, Report Card, Ads & Videos w/CEO, PR Campaign Travel Agents Rewards & Incentives, Targeted Comm., Trade Assoc. Family Vacation Targeted Ads, Package Discounts, Revamp Camp Carnival, Parenting publications/websites
    9. 9. Tactics Social Media Mom Bloggers, Photo Contest, Monitor Reviews, Reward Customer Reviews Internal Audiences Crisis Training, Revamp Internal Communications Measurement & Evaluation Data, Plan Modifications
    10. 10. Timeline 11-Month Campaign October National Cruise Month January-March Wave Season June-August Peak Season Launch Campaign Re-launch campaign with modifications Re-launch last cycle and final evaluation
    11. 11. Evaluation Measuring success throughout the campaign: OUTPUTS: informing audiences OUTTAKES: audience perception changes OUTCOMES: changes in consumer behavior