Our industry is a game of two halves. On one side we have an industry made up of crew, manufacturers, builders, brokers, marketers, journalists and other folks who make their living from the supply, manufacturer, support and promotion of superyachts. On the other side we have the end users - the guests and owners to whom the superyacht industry is not an industry - it's a holiday.
A common line we hear from our clients is that they've just completed a great project, which really demonstrates their skills; but they can't talk about it.
And fair enough too.
While some owners might feel happy to talk about the place they relax in and where they spend their downtime, many people won't - and that's ok. However, being able to document your body of work in the industry is crucial to gaining credibility and gathering more business.
So how do you protect the owner's privacy while still promoting the great work you've done onboard? Here are our top methods to navigate the privacy factor:
The most obvious solution is also the most-effective. Have a chat to the captain, or the owner's rep and explain what you want to do to publicise your involvement in the yacht, where you will publicise it, and the tone and scope of that publicity.
2. Offer anonymity. Suggest referring to the yacht only by its size and build yard, eg. a 40 metre Fitzroy Yacht. That way you're still gaining credibility for the work you've done, without compromising the owner's privacy.
3. Right to veto Before you publish anything, let the captain or the owner's rep know they'll have the chance to vet it. They'll be able to send it on for the appropriate approvals and you'll then be able to go forward and publish with confidence, or make any changes necessary.
4. Outside only. Suggest an outside-only approach. Use photos from solely on-deck for owners keen to keep private areas, private.
5. Give back
If your project is something visible onboard, consider getting a professional photoshoot done and offering to share the finished images with the yacht. The investment on your part will not only mean great material to promote your business with now and in the future, it will also mean the yacht is able to take something tangible away from your publicity efforts.
6. Avoid 'big boat' talk
Be wary of media outside the industry who try to draw you on who owns the boat, what it's worth, and what the interiors are like (unless the interior is relevant to your work). Anything that could be construed as gossip, steer well clear.
7. Charter Remember that charter yachts are a slightly different beast and that publicity for them is usually a great thing. If the yacht is receptive, have a chat with the chief stew or captain, explain your intentions and ask if there's any angles, destinations or messages they'd like you to work into your push.