A HOTEL CRISIS

The hotel industry is highly complex and prone to several crisis events. Hotels need to be responsible and effective in terms of stakeholders and be able to prevent any crisis. It is crucial that hotel organizations engage in defining and establishing a crisis plan and focus on communication issues.
According to Revinate, “In the immediate aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing the Boston police quickly instructed bystanders to leave the area and return to their homes and hotels until the imminent danger had subsided. With attendees frantically rushing out of the area and desperately trying to contact loved ones, it was imperative for the hotels to engage in the real-time social media conversation, especially with cell communication cut off. Fortunately, many of the area’s hotels took to their respective Facebook and Twitter accounts swiftly and effectively to communicate with worried guests and assure their families and friends that everyone was safe.”
This is just one of many examples as to why it is important for a hotel to have a crisis plan readily available. Hotels need to be able to establish parameters of responsibility and authority, provide a plan of action in the event of a crisis situation, identify a core crisis team, establish a protocol for internal and external communications, provide media guidelines, provide for the care and support of possible victims and their families, and establish an orderly return to normal operations.

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EBOLA VS. SARS

The EBOLA outbreak is an example of one crisis that could use the primary studies conducted for the prevention of the disease and restoration of the economy following SARS. Both epidemics are a global concern and both have required third party aid to contain and eradicate the disease. Since EBOLA has imposed restrictions on travel, “company’s stock has fallen 66 percent since the outbreak began in March this year.” (Ebola outbreak 2014, para.18) Once this epidemic has ended the economy for the areas at risk will need to implement a strategy to gain tourist attractions once again. I personally find the SARS crisis to be one that many businesses could reference on how to properly handle a hard-hitting, unpredicted crisis. This crisis was not any one companies fault but they attempted to handle it in a professional manner and strived to succeed and prosper despite the negative connotations and numerous setbacks. Without throwing in the towel, numerous teams tried and tried again until they found a way that met the concerns for their targets and simultaneously aided in the renewal of their reputation. If EBOLA continues to rise, depending on which areas are impacted the most, tourism and the economy could be greatly reduced as well.

Crisis Recovery

Hilton Weiner (HW) is a South African clothing line established in 1984 that has spread to 13 stores through out South Africa and one other store located in Mauritius. WH prides themselves on their philosophy, which states that, the design is focused “on superb cuts, impeccable quality, sophisticated style and effortless comfort appealing to the global traveler.” (Hilton Weiner, para. 2) HW specializes in cocktail wear as well as luxury separates. In addition, they sale accessory items, leather goods, shoes and jewelry. HW wanted the public to become more aware of their quality items and their new store locations since they were still considered to be unknown. HW found a way to do just that. Selfies have gained popularity online as the word of choice when posing in front of your camera. HW took advantage of this selfie craze by utilizing social media sites by starting a hashtag called the #urbanselfie. The campaign allowed customers to try on the merchandise and take a selfie while in the fitting room. Once the ideal picture was taken, the customer is to post it online to @UrbanSelfie and use the hashtag #urbanselfie so that at check out, the customer can show their tweet in order to receive a discount on their purchase. However, the incentives do not stop there. If HW deemed your selfie as stylish or fashionable they would award you with a $20 off coupon. In addition, whoever had the most retweets on a picture the customer would receive a $1000 off and whoever receives the most likes on their picture on Facebook the winner will be awarded a trip to either New York, London, Tokyo or a fashion destination of their choice. This campaign reveals many aspects of good marketing strategies. Though this is not a crisis, this could be a way to recover from a crisis. Social Media is a great tool that should be utilized as much as possible if a crisis strikes. What better way to recover than to use your fans to help you gain recognition in a positive light? I really like the idea that HW took here and I am sure many companies will follow in their footsteps.

Crises Stages

A crisis will cause the public to question the credibility of an organization, thus involving distorted perceptions, and yielding serious concerns for the organization’s prosperity. Unfortunately, most crises, to some extent, come as a surprise for the organization and they must react properly in order gain their reputation and stability back. A crisis develops from detection, prevention, containment, recovery, to learning. In the detection stage a crisis could begin with no warning signs. The prevention stage is the phase where many companies find out just how prepared they truly are before a crisis strikes. It is suggested to appoint skilled individuals to evaluate a situation and implement preparation, containment, and restoration tactics in order to be able to move on to the recovery stage. Recovery is tough to define on the basis of particular situations because not everyone fully recovers. However, the learning stage is where it really matters. To learn from a crisis, mistake, or struggle, one can handle smaller setbacks or be better prepared for another crisis. This phase is important because as a business you must examine, evaluate, and process all the procedures and actions taken throughout the predicament.

Cyber Monitoring

Cyber monitoring is not just for ensuring that the company’s webpages are performing and functioning adequately but it is used to discover any inclinations and distributions. Monitoring can be done from both inside and outside of a corporate firewall by either having a team available to monitor the site or use third party website tools like Google Alerts, Social Bakers, Cyberclient.com, and many more. Regardless of the tools used, the company should monitor all social media outlets, blog mentions, reviews, press releases, and news articles. Though this all may seem meticulous this can easily be done by the company simply participating in conversations and addressing any feedback given but are careful to not let the public drive the conversation. If a crisis does surface the company should be the sole source of information by consistently releasing material so that the public can be updated without unknowingly trusting an unreliable source.There are several key conversations to monitor and many are done internally by listening to what your employees are saying about your organization, as well as leaders in your sector. However, anyone with Internet access can view your brand through new media and traditional media outlets. In addition, your core influencers and competition are conversations to observe as well. In conclusion, there are several ways to monitor a company’s activities online by using your own programming or through monitoring tools like Google Alerts. Companies should utilize these programs in order to efficiently carry out their vision and maintain a respectable reputation. These programs are a great way to discover issues that would be otherwise unknown until they blew up past the point of correcting. If the company monitors their brands name efficiently they could reduce their risk to a crisis substantially.