Ellie St George-Yorke, head of maritime at reputation management agency Definition, explains how fishing companies can harness the value of positive communications

With the events of the last few months, one can be in no doubt that when a crisis happens, it won’t be when or what is expected. The Covid-19 pandemic represents one of the biggest challenges the modern world has ever faced, but despite the wide-reaching issues caused, there is still a lot for the sector to celebrate.

Businesses in all sectors are finding themselves needing to ‘pivot’ by finding innovative and creative ways to stay afloat. Whilst an immense challenge, the current environment can present an opportunity for organisations operating within the fishing industry. While uncertainty remains rife, it is imperative to position your business as reliable, agile, consistent and stable, with these characteristics highly sought after by customers during these unprecedented and uncertain times.

Communication is key to the perception and reputation of almost everything – whether an individual or a multinational organisation – but it doesn’t simply have to be used as a defensive measure and to navigate crises. Managing bad news is one thing, but promoting good news is just as important, so taking the opportunity to communicate the positivity coming out of your organisation can be priceless.

Seafarers Awareness Week, which takes place this week (6-12 July), represents a great opportunity to do this, providing a platform to shout about the excellent work and dedication of those working within our maritime industry. Taking this chance to proudly share what you are doing, whether fighting for fairness on behalf of maritime professionals, garnering support for national seafarer charities or simply providing a fantastic service to customers, can increase awareness of your organisation and enhance your reputation at the same time.

How companies are thought of by their customers, suppliers, investors and the general public can have a huge impact on their chances of success, so it is crucial that businesses do everything possible to uphold and enhance their public reputations at every turn.

While having dates such as Seafarers Awareness Week in the calendar is important, positive communications shouldn’t be limited to specific dates and times. Building and maintaining a strong reputation requires regular, consistent communications, so you shouldn’t be afraid to share your successes whenever they occur.

It was great to once again see some of these successes at the Fishing News Awards in June, and I would like to congratulate all of the winners and those shortlisted on their outstanding work over the course of the past year. As a longstanding sponsor of the awards, it was brilliant to see this annual celebration of the fishing industry go ahead once again, with the awards programme itself showing its agility in launching its first ever virtual event, which gave us the important opportunity to recognise and promote the fantastic achievements of those working within the sector.

Entering awards such as these is a great way of showcasing the work you are doing and represents a great opportunity to enhance your reputation, often without significant investment. We all deserve credit for our hard work and achievements every now and again, and the potential commercial rewards make it all worthwhile.

Our work with the fishing sector spans more than a decade, working to highlight the outstanding efforts of those operating within the industry, identifying and communicating positive stories such as growth and innovation, and successfully supporting organisations through challenging times.

While reputation management in the fishing industry can have its challenges, with the right strategy and a positive communications approach, you can place the spotlight firmly on the fantastic work you are doing, building strong and longlasting reputations, with important commercial benefits.

I wish you all a happy Seafarers Awareness Week and hope you stay safe and well.

To find out more about our work within the industry or how we can help you, visit: www.definitionagency.com/sectors/maritime-transport-logistics


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