Tag Archives: passengers

Is London Duck Tours headed for a watery grave?

29 Sep

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It’s been a good week for ducks. Or rather, it had been before London Duck Tours’ bus-boat caught on fire in the Thames this afternoon, leaving passengers to jump overboard.

Now I’ve seen those bus-boats poodling around the capital and I can’t say I’d jump at the chance to take a ride. While the brand might call this experience ‘fun, quirky and different’, I think it’s more ‘rusty, risky and darn scary’.

I know what you’re thinking and you’re right, it doesn’t matter what I have to say. But the truth is, London Duck Tours hasn’t said anything. No updates have been posted on Twitter, Facebook or the website. So by doing nothing, the business has exposed itself as unprofessional, unreliable and untrustworthy. Three traits nobody wants to mix with.

After a similar company had its water licence revoked last month, following a sinking in Liverpool, I’m starting to think that all the PR in the world couldn’t keep this brand’s reputation afloat.

However, if I was to pushed to come up with a strategy, this is what I’d do:

1. It’s too late to apologise
But London Duck Tours has got to do it anyway. This situation cannot get any better unless the business admits fault and takes full responsibility for the accident. This apology, directed at the brave passengers, needs to be sent to all the journalists and bloggers who have covered the story – along with details of who they can speak to for more information. Trust me, they’ll expect it.

2. The show’s over
I’d recommend cancelling all tours for the next few weeks. Certainly before customers cancel on the duck. Rather than attract attention by continuing business, and people waiting in the wings to shout about your next mistake, I’d use this time to rebuild trust with the public.

3. Buy new equipment
This is the time that City Cruises and Thames Clippers will be showing off their attributes, such as safety, so come back to your customers with a clear message: new equipment. Ideally London Duck Tours should also work with a VIP and take them out for a spin to attract interest.

Arranging a photo-call up and down the river, so everyone can see the duck is back, would be good but, better still, the team could brand the boat with a hashtag to track what people have to say about the re-launch.

After that, you’re on your own! What would you suggest for this sitting duck?

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BA needs to make a Big Apology?

15 Jan

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Today there have been four official judgements made on discrimination over religious beliefs in the workplace. Of those four, just one went in favour of Christianity. And it’s not causing the Twitter storm I’d expected.

I’m even more surprised that Tweeters are taking this opportunity to condemn Eweida, Chaplin, Ladele and McFarlane and every other Christian ‘causing a fuss’ saying they’re the same people ‘trying to ban me from wearing skirts at work’.

Tweeters aside, I think it’s the employers – such as global airline British Airways – involved in today’s court hearings that are going to have to work very hard to prove that their ‘corporate images’ were worth be dragged through the courts. BA especially since 2006. (BA amended its policy in 2007 to accept employees wearing symbols of faith.) I can’t see in any way how crosses, or any other faith symbol, affects the type of service it should be delivering to meet customers’ needs.

It’s sad because after its brilliant ‘To Fly. To Serve‘ campaign and gold-medal attempt during the Olympics, persuading people to stay at home and cheer on Team GB, the BA brand has had to start 2013 on a sour note.

To make matters worse BA has so far not even acknowledged the case with even a single tweet, post on Facebook or a statement on its corporate site. A bit of a mistake when they knew the outcome was going to run globally, surely? And I definitely don’t think a headline of ‘diversity and equality’ on the airline’s jobs website is enough of a message or an apology for not protecting Eweida’s rights.

For companies to be the best, it has to have the best people working for them. And to attract the best people you have to allow them to be themselves.

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