Several years ago, Antigua suffered one of the worst crimes to affect a country’s reputation. The
honeymoon murders of 2008. The story dogged Antigua for years, and still occasionally surfaces in
the international press. The cost to the economy was over $1.9 Billion dollars and almost crippled
the island’s tourism industry. The Government’s response to the crisis was poor and the country
continues to struggle with public perception.
Come forward a few years to the recent murders of British tourists in Thailand and we see once again
an appalling response to a crisis. The Thai Prime Minister inferred that girls wearing bikinis made
themselves targets. Poorly considered comments like these, which came directly from a Government
body, inflamed the international press and flooded social media with damaging comments;
dealing damage to Thailand reputation that could take years to heal.
Terrorism, crime, disease and a host of other issues have the potential to cause enormous
damage to countries and Governments. The response to these issues must be planned carefully,
ahead of time, in order to protect the reputation of Governments. The Helm can train personnel and
plan for unforeseen circumstances, ensuring that when disaster strikes, your Government is
prepared, and in control. A Government to be looked up to, not down upon.
We provide full disaster communications strategy, which comprises risk assessment. training and
planning. The Helm’s expert consultants will develop a play book of responses and train the relevant
people in how to respond to the unexpected.
In economies heavily reliant on tourism, suppressing the impact of a crisis needs to be a pre-emptive
thought, not an after thought. Global communications can mean irreparable damage to reputation spreads
very quickly, and poorly considered responses can destroy a destination or a Government for years to
come. On the other hand, fast and effective digital communications strategy can win public opinion,
and ensure that the public is on your side following a crisis.