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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Communication and PR Committee discusses incident management and the image of the industry at its 27th meeting

Incident management and the image of the industry were among the principal issues the Communications and PR Committee (CPR) debated at its 27th meeting in London held in conjunction with the autumn meetings of INTERTANKO’s Executive Committee and Council.

The CPR Committee is developing a ‘Tanker Industry Image’ workshop for members. The aim of the workshop is to discuss what we are offering those in the Chain of Responsibility if it is our intention that they should join the shipping image campaign. One of the themes of the workshop would be to address whether the image was ‘status quo’ or one of progression.

The Committee agreed that successful media response to casualty situations depends on accountability, responsibility and transparency. Fundamental to the ability of INTERTANKO to represent its members and the industry in the public arena and begin the process of image building for the industry is the need for all INTERTANKO members to learn how to deal professionally with the media and in particular television interviews. The Committee endorsed INTERTANKO’s plans to develop its existing media response plan and establish an incident press desk using the website as one of the principal communication tools. The Committee also recommended that it was important that INTERTANKO’s members had a clear understanding of how the media operates. It was recommended that INTERTANKO’s database of members’ designated press contacts be updated and a survey conducted on members’ media training programmes.

The Committee also discussed its work programme and the ad hoc working groups which had been set up over the last two years and have proven effective. The Committee also discussed using individual committee members with expertiseor contacts in a particular area as an additional resource. For example, in recent years John Damilatis had been invaluable as INTERTANKO’s Greek media contact person. The Committee agreed that it was an essential element of INTERTANKO’s incident response plan and media relations to ensure that INTERTANKO had a similar media contact persons in other regions.

The Educational Working Group reported on the formation of the Maritime Industry Foundation (MIF) as a single umbrella organisation to include the two supporting units, the Maritime Industry Educational Initiative (MIEF) and the Maritime Industry Image Library (MIIL). The Committee stressed the importance of these initiatives being industry-wide. The MIF would operate separately from INTERTANKO and be independently funded. The MIF has been formed as a UK charity and, in addition to the educational initiative and image library, will encompass other activities related to developing the image of the shipping industry.

Turning to the Annual Report the Committee reaffirmed that it was an important publication that should be highly focused and definitely more than an historical summary. It was suggested that INTERTANKO’s 2003 Annual Report should have a theme that would enhance the image of INTERTANKO and the tanker industry. Two categories of target groups were identified: external (politicians, the media, customers, insurers etc) and internal (members, potential members, ships crew etc). The secretariat will make a proposal for the 2003 Annual Report to include examples of the tangible benefits and a costing outlining alternative revenue options from advertising.

Other issues on the agenda were a report from the Transparency Working Group and discussions for the programme for the Dubai Tanker Event to be held 28-31 March 2004.

The Committee welcomed Lars Christensen, Dampskibsselskabet "NORDEN" A/S, as a new member. The next meeting will be held in November.

The minutes of the meeting will shortly be available on the INTERTANKO website under ‘Committees’.

Contact: Sally Woulfe