Five-minute intro to… Nautilus International

In the second of an occasional and informal series introducing you to our work at CPL One, we turn the spotlight on a global client.

Ahoy there, Captain Nemo!

What? There’s no Captain Nemo here.

Oh. It’s just that Nautilus was the name of Captain Nemo’s submarine in the Jules Verne novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

Ah yes, of course. This is about the sea, though, you’re right. Nautilus International is a global trade union that looks after the interests of more than 20,000 seafarers, their dependents and other maritime professionals in the UK, Netherlands and Switzerland.

Switzerland? You’re having me on. That’s pretty famously a landlocked country.

Correct, but it has some major inland waterways and, in any case, maritime professionals from many countries are employed on ships that really do sail the high seas, across international waters – which means, as a trade union, Nautilus has a truly global reach.

So who gets to be a Nautilus International member?

It could be the crew of specialist research vessels in the Antarctic, or employees working on ferries or cruise liners, or servicing offshore wind farms, onboard container ships, tankers… maybe even superyachts. Remember during the early days of the Covid pandemic when people got locked down on cruise liners that weren’t allowed to dock?

Ooh, yes. That must have been scary.

Well, if the crew needed support, including legal advice and information about employment rights, they could look to Nautilus International. The same when P&O Ferries summarily sacked 786 people, many by video message, in 2022. Nautilus was there to provide a voice, assistance and offer guidance to its members.

What about the huge container ship that got stuck in the Suez Canal?

That ship was the Ever Given, and it caused delays in international supply chains, impacting many companies in the UK and beyond. And then there was the global food security crisis caused by the war in Ukraine. Ships needed export routes to be re-opened via a humanitarian corridor in the Black Sea. No export routes means no-one gets Ukraine’s vast stocks of grain. No grain means no bread for your sandwiches. You see, the smooth operation of shipping and other maritime work affects our lives in many ways, and if Nautilus wasn’t around, many seafarers would be left without support and potentially at risk of leaving an industry that we depend on, even though most of us don’t know it.

I get the picture. So what does CPL One do for Nautilus International?

We started working with Nautilus International in 2018, originally to design and lay out its monthly member magazine, Telegraph. CPL One redesigned the magazine in 2022. Now we produce a whole range of multimedia content, to help them communicate with all these members we’ve been talking about – including videos, animations and podcasts, as well as social media collateral. For example, we’ve made animated videos for Nautilus’s campaigning work, as well as short, fun, awareness-raising social media videos for TikTok. We also produce a podcast, Off course: A sideways look at life at sea.

How’s that going?

Well, it’s just been shortlisted for a Memcom Excellence Award, so pretty well, we think.

OK, since we’re talking salty dog stories, what about pirates? Tell me about pirates.

Arrgghhh! I knew you’d ask that. Actually, yes, piracy is a big issue for seafarers. In fact, an Off Course podcast featured Captain Phillips, who was kidnapped by pirates – his story was made into a movie starring Tom Hanks.

What does the team at Nautilus International say about working with CPL One?

Helen Kelly, director of communications, campaigns and digital, says: “We’re always looking for new and fresh ideas that can help us be at the forefront of supporting seafaring. Our approach to campaigning and awareness-raising at Nautilus International is often digital first, and we find the team at CPL One are always enthusiastic, creative and agile in responding to any challenge that arises.”

What else should we know about CPL One’s work with Nautilus International?

We love working with Nautilus as it touches on many of our skill sets, from journalism and design to video and animation. It’s a holistic CPL One offering – and while the subject matter is big and important, we get to unleash some creativity and originality too. It’s fun.

Read our Five-minute intro to… CIBSE.