Navigate Response, the global crisis communications network for the maritime sector, is introducing unlimited response hours contracts to help its shipping company clients manage the potentially open-ended costs of media management work during a crisis.
Navigate Response Director Bill Lines said: "Through a small premium on Navigate Response's standard media response contracts, companies can manage their risk profile by choosing a plan which guarantees an unlimited response from our crisis response teams headquartered in London and Singapore.
"Whether the threat is from cyber, piracy, pollution or an environmental lobby, it is vital that our clients have the support to respond as actively as it takes, for as long as it takes," he added.
Analysis of incidents in the maritime sector by Navigate Response shows that whilst the frequency and severity of maritime accidents have been decreasing, media and public pressure have increased.
An ever-faster news-cycle, social media and an increasingly sceptical public mean that shipping companies need to get their side of the story across quickly and accurately in the wake of any incident involving their ships or staff.
P&I Clubs in the International Group generally cover claims for media response costs associated with an incident if the media response is judged to be part of the overall incident management. However, if the Club judges that media management is primarily intended to protect the shipping company's reputation and relationships, such costs may not be covered – reputations are not insured.
Bill Lines added: "In the 25 years since the USA Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90) first drew industry-wide attention to the importance of crisis communications support for shipping companies, the media landscape has undergone a tectonic shift, but the media response contracts offered to shipping companies have remained largely unchanged.
"With our unlimited plans, shipping companies can ensure they are not left with an unexpected bill for media response support."
Navigate Response crisis communications packages provide everything needed to comply with Tanker Management and Self-Assessment 3 (TMSA 3) media guidelines, California State Public Information Officer (PIO) legislation and charterer vetting requirements. The packages include media training, drills, media monitoring and 24/7 availability.
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