NEWS | SHIPPING AND DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS

2nd April 2013

SHIPPING AND DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS

You can’t help but be impressed by Maersk’s social media presence. In a short period it has established a credible presence across a plethora of digital platforms that far exceed the traditional marketing mix, establishing an implicit trust in a product that effectively ‘speaks for itself’.

As Jonathan Wickmann, the Head of Social Media at Maersk Line explains in his blog, Maersk have chosen to engage its many ‘publics’ and empower its employees to huge effect. But more importantly, that engagement has endeared a sense of transparency that has yet to permeate into other traditional sectors of business, such as Finance, Oil and Food.

Moreover, Jonathan Wickmann explains that some organisations are (or should be) explaining what they do much more effectively,  “Companies have become news media agencies in their own right. But they will not get very far unless they are trustworthy.” And there lies the rub, how to be ‘trustworthy’, to be the provider of choice in an unenviable economic environment, where margins for shipping companies are slight.

Yes, Maersk is the largest Shipping Container Company worldwide, but unlike the remainder of the industry, it does an outstanding job of communicating what it does, not just through words but sounds and images. It makes as much of the successes of its business as it does in admitting its shortfalls – it’s human and in an industry synonymous with hardware, regulation and processes, it has developed appeal in that behind all that are seafarers and a supply chain of individuals supporting the machine.

Maersk has set a worthy bar of social media activity for the remainder of the Shipping Sector, but certainly achievable for others in the B2B market, the remainder of the sector just needs to take that leap of faith and engage with its publics throughout the digital communications environment; its reputation and survivability depend on it.