The campaign was selected as the best from among the 136 public relations campaigns designated as finalists for the prestigious Silver Anvil Award. The awards were presented last evening at the PRSA 2015 Silver Anvil Awards Ceremony at the AXA Equitable Building in New York.
“There aren’t many travel brands that could recover from the onslaught of negativity thrown at the Carnival Corporation, but with a solid public relations strategy and flawless execution, Carnival and LDWWgroup worked together to right the ship,” said James J. Roop, APR, Fellow PRSA, chair of PRSA’s Honors and Awards Committee. “This campaign clearly demonstrates how effective public relations can improve a brand reputation after a crisis, and I congratulate the Carnival Corporation and, LDWW, for their impactful work supporting this incredible transformation.”
According to the Carnival Corporation’s winning entry, an ongoing YouGov BrandIndex study found that Carnival’s consumer brand reputation fell by as much as 50 points by mid-2013. Additionally, while Carnival’s share of voice compared to other cruise lines was high, 24 percent of their share reflected a negative sentiment. Finally, a review of its brand found that it was lacking a corporate communications function for all 10 Carnival Corporation brands and had no corporate website to communicate during crises.
From the outset of the campaign, Carnival Corporation and LDWW quickly established a four-point corporate communications strategy which included:
- Defining a corporate story around key pillars that mattered to stakeholders, passengers and crew.
- Launching a “good news” storytelling campaign to change the tone of the conversation about the brand.
- Cultivating relationships with influential media and communicate positive changes the company was implementing.
- Positioning the new chief executive officer Arnold Donald as a leader, change agent and collaborator.
The campaign’s results were staggering. Carnival Corporation saw an 85.6 percent improvement in brand reputation and a 75 percent reduction in negative share of voice, largely surpassing its goals. YouGov’s BrandIndex declared Carnival “the most-improved U.S. brand in consumer perception” by mid-2014. Most importantly, the campaign’s efforts supported the business’s demand-generation efforts, bringing back loyal customers and attracting first-time cruisers.
About the Public Relations Society of America
PRSA is the largest professional organization serving the U.S. public relations community. With a mission to “advance the profession and the professional,” PRSA provides news and information, thought leadership, continuing education and networking opportunities; sets standards of professional excellence and ethical conduct; and advocates for the business value of public relations and greater diversity among public relations professionals. Based in New York, PRSA comprises 110 local Chapters; 14 Professional Interest Sections that focus on specific industries and practice areas; and the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), which is active at more than 340 colleges and universities.