Some of the maritime industry’s leading communications professionals came together yesterday in London’s Institute of Directors (IoD) to discuss the information boom in the shipping industry.
Chaired by BLUE’s Managing Director, Alisdair Pettigrew, the panelists: Nick Brown, Marine Communications Manager, Lloyd’s Register, Karine Langlois, New Media Officer at the International Maritime Organization, James Tweed, Founder and Managing Director at Coracle Online, Neil Wiese, Managing Editor at Fairplay and BLUE’s Director Amie Pascoe, shared their insights and experiences in the marine, energy and environment sectors alongside an audience, comprised of communications professionals from organisations including U.K. Chamber of Shipping, Gearbulk, International Paint and Rolls-Royce.
The debate ranged from the increase in the speed and volume of information and news to the proliferation of communication channels including social media and video. The panel agreed that the growth in information and proliferation of social and digital channels had the potential to significantly challenge the ways the shipping industry has traditionally engaged with their customers and stakeholders. Opinion differed on whether social media should be treated as just another channel of communication or whether it was having a greater impact, and forcing organisations to fundamentally rethink how they engage with their stakeholders, how they use information, and how they respond to events, particularly in times of crisis.
The panel discussed that even as little as a year ago the question in the maritime industry seemed to be “should we be engaging with social and digital media?” Most organisations are now moving beyond that stage, and are asking, “how do we do it well”? The room concurred that communicating via social and digital media was not without risks, but when used in a consistent and strategic way and with the intention of creating meaningful interactions with stakeholders, shipping can reap significant benefits.