Covid-19 in tourism
Tourism & Destination Marketing
Eddy Alexander is a full-service marketing and growth strategy consulting firm with extensive experience in tourism and economic development brand management, digital advertising including content creation and social media campaigns, Search Engine Optimization, website development, and performance reporting. Our team takes great pride in building marketing strategies that support each client’s unique business objectives, growth goals, and operational considerations. Using proven project management techniques, highly-trained professional staff, and our proprietary client-centric approach to message management, Eddy Alexander consistently achieves measurable, meaningful client results.
Crisis Management and COVID-19
Eddy Alexander has been able to provide superior Crisis Management strategies to a variety of industries including Higher Education, Healthcare, Technology, Economic Development, Professional Services, and Tourism.
COVID-19 has affected the world and every sector. One of the hardest hit industries is tourism, which represents one out of ten jobs in the USA.
Destination Crisis Management is critical in our current pandemic. While the COVID-19 crisis is evolving rapidly and impacting destinations around the globe, Eddy Alexander is monitoring changes and developments as they occur and are having regular conversations with leaders and experts in our industry.
- Brand management
- Brand perception studies/analysis
- Creative development
- Crisis management communication
- Digital advertising
- Online reputation management
- Copy writing & editing
- Media buying
- Seo & sem
- Distribution strategy
Our goal is to guide and support the stewardship of your destination by providing a best-in-class Destination Management portfolio of services.
The most significant weapon in a crisis is communication, both internal and external. With so much data from a variety of sources that changes by the hour, the clear and concise dissemination of real authoritative information is vital. If there is one critical takeaway in successful crisis communication strategy, it’s the necessity of the consistent execution of the same message. DMOs and CVBs are regarded as a trusted source of information and need resources to help inform their communities.
Creating a framework is the first step in building a cohesive crisis response plan. A framework, like a house, is necessary to build a solid foundation. Otherwise, the house will eventually collapse. At Eddy Alexander we call this framework a “Message House.”
To create a message house, key is creating an overarching message, or roof, that the pillars of the message house support. What is the primary message you want to have your communities remember? Note that every destination is unique and should build their own communications plan, rather than “copy and paste” from others. After all, the DMO knows the location better than anyone. What message is the most important to your stakeholders?
To assist DMOs and CVBs, we recommend a tool we have engineered internally to manage messaging to key audiences. These audiences may include:
- Destination executives
- Board of Directors
- Local citizens
- Key community stakeholders
- Law enforcement and other relevant personnel
- Travel industry or business stakeholders
- Public officials
It is essential to prepare for a crisis scenario. Who is (are) the spokesperson(s)? Have you pre-designated a media briefing location. Prepare, prepare, prepare. Thorough, advanced preparation is a better plan than having to rush amidst a crisis. Simple planning can include:
- Designating a spokesperson available to communicate frequently with the media.
- Double-checking all information before making it public.
- Being completely factual and truthful at all times.
- Coordinating statements and information with spokespersons for other organizations such as police, fire, emergency response organizations, hotels, etc.
- Immediately correcting false or misleading information.
- Repeating key messages.
- If you do not know the answer, say that.
- Keeping track of media inquiries.
- Preparing statements in advance. Have them approved by the Emergency Response Team (ERT).
- Responding as positively as possible. Keep calm at all times.
Most people have the capacity to retain three messages. This means your message house can carry three key messages you want your communities to remember. The three supporting messages need to be very simple and memorable and should fall under, and support, the main overarching theme.
Lean in or Lean Out
Over the years I have witnessed many disruptive events that have stopped travel in its tracks. I have seen those that chose to lay low and defer any communications and advertising, and others that demonstrated empathy and understanding to maintain visibility in troubled times. Those that selected to maintain visibility were often able to rebound stronger and faster.
It’s over when we say its over
It’s over when the consumers say it’s over. We drill deep down into consumer sentiment. Our listening posts are tuning into how consumers are feeling about travel. This includes the timing and location of where they’re thinking of going when COVID -19 is in the rearview mirror. What “things to see and do” will satisfy their pent-up travel demand? Will it be a road trip to a national park? Will it be family attractions? This research and the appropriate message and timing is garnered from insights that our talented team then turns in to action.
Post-crisis, an assessment should be undertaken to ensure best practices are established for the future. An honest 360 evaluation on what worked well and where we need improvement. Did we include all agencies and partners in the communications? Are there changes that need to be implemented today?
Helpful Health Expert Resources
- World Health Organization
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control
- U.S. National Institutes of Health
- Public Health Agency of Canada
- List of Departments of Health by States, Provinces and Territories of the U.S. and Canada
Eddy Alexander’s proven team is here. Local, national, and international skills are ready, willing and able to assist and help you plan all aspects of your Tourism and Destination Management strategy.