Crisis Management Analysis - Costa Concordia Disaster

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Following the signal to abandon ship, it took Costa Cruises just under three hours to release their first statement. The company confirmed the evacuation of approximately 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crewmembers from the Costa Concordia. The press release stated that at the time, the cause of the incident could not be confirmed and assured the public that they were “working with the highest commitment to provide all needed assistance to guests, crew members and the local Italian authorities”. The statement poses questions by stating that “approximately 1,000 passengers of Italian nationality were on board, as well as more than 500 Germans, and 250 North Americans. This only accounts for half of the number of passengers. Costa should have left out this information until they could provide a more detailed breakdown.

The second statement Costa Cruises released was at 5:10 a.m. This standard press release expressed the company’s condolences and concern to the victims’ families and friends. Costa stated that their number one priority at the time was to provide assistance to the guests and crew who were on board to facilitate their return home as soon as possible. The company thanked the Coast Guard and all people involved in the rescue and they stated that they “will fully cooperate with the relevant authorities to determine the causes of the accident”.

The final statement from Costa Cruises released on January 14th at 6:30 p.m. included quotes from the president of the company, Gianni Onorato. Onorato explains that he had not previously been able to speak on behalf of Costa because he was on the island of Giglio to be close to the rescue operations. He expressed the company’s sorrow and thanked all who provided assistance to guests and crew. He stated that the ship struck a submerged rock and the captain then initiated security procedures to prepare for evacuation.

The first statement released by Carnival Corporation & plc was at 3:45 p.m. Eastern

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