Securewest International, the global risk management company, and SocratesQ, the brand management agency, are delighted to announce the launch of Crisis Counsel. The new service provides a one-stop resource for risk management, media and legal counsel in case of crisis, ensuring owners, management companies and crew can handle the outfall from a crisis with skill and authority.
Explaning owners' needs, Oscar Faragher, principal at SocratesQ says, “There is now an international fleet of well over 5,000 superyachts. In the first quarter of 2016 alone, sales of superyachts were valued at well over €425m and the yachting industry itself has an annual revenue in the tens of billions of pounds.
“They cruise from Bodrum to the Bahamas with global celebrities on board as guests or charterers. Things happen: sinkings, collisions, fires and sometimes - sadly -death at sea. A huge risk threatens the reputation of owners, management companies and crew if crises strike without professional preparation and the skills to deal with media and media law.”
Reputation accounts for over 70% of the value of a business; maritime industries and individuals are not exempt. In fact, companies and individuals who mishandle communications in a crisis face a loss in corporate value and the lasting effects of a ruined reputation for well over 12 months, if not permanently.
David Summerfield, Head of Risk Consulting at Securewest:
“Crisis management cannot simply be deferred until the crisis hits, in the hope that it will never happen. Because it will happen. It requires a forward looking systematic approach that creates structures, trains people to work within them, and is evaluated and developed in a continuous, purposeful and rigorous way.”
Jonathan Coad of Lewis Silkin, legal partners in Crisis Counsel:
“The media have a prurient interest in the activities of superyacht owners and their guests. This can and should be shut down at once using the legal system of the country in question when privacy is invaded. But if a real news event has happened – collision, accident, fire rescue – the media have legitimate right to report the story, just so long as they do so accurately. Owners, managers and skippers need to learn the rules and practise how to engage with media under stress.”
David Summerfield, Head of Risk Consulting, Securewest International:
Time of response is critical. As a crisis evolves, crisis management teams will have to deal with evermore stimuli, incidents, events or agendas. Weak teams will take longer to respond to the point of paralysis. Strong, well prepared teams will be able to deal effectively and quickly with ever increasing requirements and possibly turn ‘danger’ into ‘opportunity’.
Wayne Britton, Business Development Manager, Securewest International
Adrian Wheeler, Crisis Communications Specialist: “A crisis is not a democracy; someone has to be in charge. Build trust and keep the initiative with media. ‘No comment’ is not an option. Know what to say.”
Kitty Jones, Head of Media Relations and Partnerships, SocratesQ: “Amateur handling of a crisis can lose you more than your job. Owners and management companies need comprehensive strategies and plans. Crew, who are often frontline, need the skill and authority to deal head-‐on with media and know their legal position, otherwise the impact of crises can grow.”
Jonathan Coad, partner Lewis Silkin: “Understanding and dealing with legal and regulatory systems needs a professional team. What are the tools – injunctions? press codes? data protection? With privacy infringement escalating, how thorough are employee contracts?”
Oscar Faragher, principal Socrates Q: “Reputation affects all stakeholders. Do owners and management companies have the right crisis team in place? The decision to invest in training starts at the top, yet it is frontline crew who are more often than not directly facing media during and after a crisis.”
Tel: +44 (0)7776 196653; +44 (0)20 7384 3437
Crisis Counsel offers strategies and tactical programmes for:
On board fire
Accidental death or severe injury of guest caused by crew member or quest
Drowning or injury of crew member or quest
Illegal substances found during spot search on-board
Tailing by paparazzi
Breach of privacy crew; by another quest
Kidnap for ransom
Principal superyacht crises reported 2015/16:
Sarah Young, British amateur sailor dies accidentally on Clipper race; second incident within a year.
Anchoring accident causes Bulgarian crew death in Similan islands.
Two armed assailants board yacht in St Vincent, killing German guest and injuring captain.
Abu Dhabi - Fire breaks out on eight yachts, destroys two. Dep PM and Minister for Interior supervise procedures.
Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen’s yacht destroys 80% protected coral reef.
Sunseeker Manhattan sails into Ibizan reef and sinks.
Film producer and owner of Napoli football team yacht on fire, guests evacuated.
Second yacht sinking this summer in Greece - images and film of yacht sinking off Mykonos.
Mia yacht - guns seized and guests arrested.
Ocean 5 yacht catches fire Piraeus port and sinks.
Hurricane Carlos sinks Bellissima, yacht owned by Jorge Kahwagi, Mexican politician, artist and former boxer, film.
Man on rib struck by motor yacht and dies in Solent.
Young British sailor with life-changing injuries following accident while cleaning Kibo off Majorcan coast.
1953 Feadship Notorious, previously owned by US President Gerald Ford and Randolph Hearst destroyed by fire and used by Charlton Heston during Planet of the Apes filming, destroyed by fire during restoration.
Virgin Gorda, Captain crashes yacht killing guests.