Because hospitality is a 24/7/365 operation, we are always thinking, “What’s next?” Your front desk staff, operations personnel, and front and back-of-house teams have to be ready for anything to happen. Most often, the one thing that can strike with little warning is a weather-related event. Nobody wants to think about disaster planning, but it is a critical element of any resort operational plan. How does your team handle crisis communication planning?”
The team at Resort Cabanas (a division of Eide Industries) works with many properties around America. We’ve seen the unexpected happen and with little to no notice. In the wake of the recent wind-driven fires in California, we’ve put together this handy reminder to keep your crisis communications ready for your guests.
It’s the most rudimentary way to communicate with guests, but detailed notes of information can have a major impact. Bulletins posted in the lobby or slipped under doors in rooms can give guests the proper information they need to make a decision when circumstances abruptly change.
If travelers are staying with you and are planning on sightseeing, they may be unaware of the conditions that exist outside of your property. When it is rainy, snowy, windy at your property, they get an immediate sense of how their plans might be impacted.
Itinerary-interrupting elements are the most benign elements you would have to worry about it. Imminent dangers will obviously require more information delivered with more immediacy. It may not be pretty, but you may have to post signage on the entry and exit points of your property. You may need to position employees to give comprehensive crisis communication information to guests.
Email/Text Crisis Communication
You no doubt have a phone number and likely an email for your guests. Text and email notifications allow your team to provide information in an instant to your guests wherever they may be. You can alert them to approaching storms, road closures, or in worst-case scenarios, evacuation information.
By connecting with your guests via text and email, you are reaching an audience that is not only very connected; they often prefer to use their phones. Pew Research shows that 91% of all adults have a cellphone, and of that, at least 53% of adults have smartphones. We see it when they check-in; they use their phones to locate restaurants, activities, and navigation help.
Your guests will be grateful that you reached out to them with your crisis communications, whether they save the day or save their lives.
Social media is modern public relations. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are staples for resort properties. Social media often makes a connection with guests before they check-in and can often help maintain the relationship long after check-out.
Posting your crisis communications on social media offers another avenue for your guests to learn about potential emergency situations. 68% of Americans use Facebook, and those users spend nearly an hour on the channel every day (Hootsuite.) Think about people driving to your property or landing at the airport in your market; they typically load up the phone and check their social media channels. It’s a great place to reinforce the message you are sending out across the other channels.
While Instagram may not be the best place to broadcast news to your audience, extreme announcements – closures and cancelations – would be good to publish on the page. Itt won’t look good on your social media presence forever. You can hide the post later on when the danger has subsided.
Twitter is the most news-centric social platform – publishing your crisis communication plan on your timeline allows others on social media to reply and ask questions. Many resorts use Twitter as a customer service channel. Your guests will likely rely on Twitter for any important information.
At Resort Cabanas (a division of Eide Industries, Inc.), we specialize in designing, manufacturing, and engineering custom commercial cabanas and pre-engineered options. With almost 80 years of extensive design, construction, metal fabrication, industrial sewing, and installation experience, we are proud to offer the highest quality products possible, made right here in the U.S.