The PHA Group was called in to help Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines when COVID-19 began to impact the travel and cruise industries. The company wanted to ensure it was doing everything it could to get passengers home safely and to communicate effectively with stakeholders and media. The UK Government had advised over the over-70s and those with underlying health conditions not to go on a cruise holiday. Fred. Olsen wanted to maintain their integrity as a caring, family-run business.
We worked alongside their existing press office. Our strategy centred around fast, open and honest communication. PHA’s social team used listening tools to track negative sentiment and provide insight into the key issues and questions which required urgent attention.
Each day Fred. Olsen was given detailed coverage reports. We tracked 1,477 online mentions. The PHA Group helped to draft all messaging, including internal Q&As, social posts, and media statements. We handled incoming media enquiries and used our connections to ensure balanced reporting in the national and international media, across print, online and broadcast. There was coverage in BBC, Sky, Mail on Sunday, Sunday Telegraph, Sunday Mirror, and Daily Mail.
Our team provided strategic counsel to the Managing Director and his senior leadership team. We advised on the messaging around the company’s decision – along with other cruise ship companies – to suspend operations until it was safe to return to the water