Crisis and Emergency Blogging for Business

 

Crisis and Emergency Blogging For Business

In this professional training video Tony Ridley demonstrates the best way to set up and manage a business blog for crisis and emergency communications. The video has tools, recommendations and other solutions to setting up fast, free or professional corporate crisis and emergency blogging for business

Note: Wait a a few moments for the video to play, depending on your internet connection.

 

 
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Why the London riots created a greater business travel threat than a terrorist attack

Why the London riots created a greater business travel threat than a terrorist attack

 

Introduction to the London riots business travel threat

If you have business travel to London, you need to read this article. In this article you will discover why the London riots created a greater business travel threat than a terrorist attack. We will examine the threat posed by the London riots and demonstrations, terrorist attacks and resulting travel delays, disruptions and changes. At the end of this article, you will have a specific understanding of the required business travel management response and awareness as to why this will happen again.

The London riots and demonstrations has resulted in one of the largest business travel disruptions of 2011.

London Riots and Demonstrations

 

The London riots and demonstrations have come as a complete surprise to many. It is not a unique event and certainly not unique to the UK. The scale, violence, fire and failure of the authorities is often something expected in other countries but the lack of preparedness for destinations like the UK is common and widespread. Therefore, the lack of preparedness and last minute scramble to respond and the inability to avoid major business travel disruptions are widespread as a result.

Due to the footprint of disruption, many routes and modes of transport have been negatively affected. Simple commute from the airport, trains and ports to planned accommodation options have been altered and continuous review of hazard or threat assessment are required. Furthermore, travel support providers such as taxis, hotels, restaurants, emergency services an other basic amenities have also been affected, to varying degrees.

Travel and risk managers need to immediately identify:

 

London riots.travel risk management.Tony Ridley

London Riots Business Travel Threat

 

 

  • Affected areas,
  • Degree of threat,
  • Affected and exposed (inbound and outbound) business travellers,
  • Arrival/departure points,
  • Safe and non-affected areas,
  • Mitigation or eradication options,
  • Cost of implementation,
  • Funds available,
  • Emergency support,
  • Accommodation options,
  • On-going or developing events,
  • Social or non-business activity,
  • Insurance claims and compliance requirements,
  • Cancellation criteria,
  • Resumption of travel criteria,
  • Extended event plans,
  • Travel alternatives (domestic and international)

 

The London riots have affected multiple support systems related to business and leisure travel. Any leisure travel disruptions will further compound business travel threats such as decreased accommodation options, airport congestion and increased public transport demand. Even simple actions like withdrawing money from an ATM will prove a challenge and compound the hazard/s.

The London riots have had a prolonged affect on UK business travel sector, far greater than the majority of terrorist attacks. Further affects such as planning and preparation for the 2012 Olympics will also contribute to the lingering affects.

A lack of planning and subsequent response capability by businesses could constitute a failure of duty of care, due diligence, corporate social responsibility, workplace health and safety or other related legislation.

Terrorist attacks less of a business travel threat than London riots

With the exception of the Mumbai terrorist attacks, most have limited business travel disruption and only affect a narrow band of business travellers. Inclusive of the Mumbai terror attack, terrorist attacks typically have clearly defined threat elements (terrorist, bombings, gunfire, etc) whereas the London riots is a constantly changing and unclear threat. Most business travellers will be unprepared for such decision making demands and lack sufficient experience to make consistent and safe decisions.

Most contemporary business travel risk management systems focus on location and plausible event threats, then seek to inform or prepare travellers for the best results to mitigate or eliminate the hazards and threats. Therefore, the bulk of business travellers will not be prepared or educated on how to respond in London, with such wide spread disruption and threats. Few will have residual knowledge from information and preparation for such events in other locations, considered more likely to be medium to high risk. Many of the supporting business travel management departments and managers will be equally unprepared and resourced.

A terrorist attack and other similar violent crimes would have a much smaller footprint of disruption, not affected such a wide business travel demographic, not affect business travel support providers so comprehensively or have such a prolonged impact on all exposed.

Routine travel delays, disruptions and changes represent one of the most persistent and probable travel risk management issues.

Travel delay, disruption and changes

Change management and the decision making involved is one of the most commonly accepted workplace hazard concerns. This is equally relevant to business travel and business travel threats.

The instinctive and guided response of business travellers to any delay, disruption or change can significantly affect the outcome of any spontaneous or new hazard as it presents. Particularly when this is the first level of response, before support options and resources can be activated or come into affect.

Travel delays have been triggered due to airport and airline workers unable to get to work, taxi drivers not able to refuel vehicles, hotels and staff overwhelmed, business travellers unprepared and convergence of business and leisure travellers upon all available exit travel nodes.

Access to information, at all levels, the ability to consume and process all the options and explore alternatives is imperative in this and similar travel disruption events. Crisis leadership will succeed more frequently than simple crisis management, to which are dependent upon timely and accurate information from all available resources.

Unfortunately, many will fail to fully understand the gravity of the events, the threats posed and respond or prepare accordingly. While many others exposed will chalk it up to another force majeure or random act that is just part of the rich experience of international travel. Courts, business travellers and peer review increasingly do not share this flippant view.

This scenario and lack of preparedness has been played out numerous times in recent history. Volcanos, volcanic ash affects, Japan’s tsunami, airport closures, airline failure and many others have caught business travellers and managers alike unprepared. This disturbing trend will continue.

Conclusion: London riots business travel threat

 

You should now see why the London riots have a far greater impact and threat to business travellers than you may have originally thought. We have examined the business travel threat posed by the London riots, terrorist attacks and resulting travel delays. You now have a specific plan for this and similar events and the required business travel management and response. This will happen again. Perhaps not in London, perhaps not a city wide demonstration but this kind and scale of business travel disruption event will happen more than once before the end of 2011. Review your plan and make the necessary enhancements now.

Why the London riots created a greater business travel threat than a terrorist attack

Tony Ridley

Social Media For Hotels

Social Media For Hotels

 

Social Media for Hotels

Social Media for Hotels

Introduction to Social Media for Hotels

When it comes to social media this is what every hotel owner and managers should know. In this article we will examine hotel buyers, hotel marketing and online opportunities using social media and other online marketing options. By reading this article it will put you in the top 10% of hotel marketers and online sales that will generate greater customer interest, engagement and conversions. Upon reading this article you will have the insight and basic framework to commence or review your online marketing plan immediately.

Hotel Buyers Use the Internet and Social Media

 

Increasingly buyers or those looking for accommodation and hotels are using the internet and other social media tools. The demand is measurable using Google’s suite of research and analytical tools. Current trends show a month-on-month and year-on-year growth as buyers turn to the internet to find hotels and deals.

Over the past couple of years, buyers no longer just use the search engines to find accommodation and hotels but they share and collaborate with friends in social networks, blogs and review sites. Much of this is outside of the hotel and accommodation sectors marketing focus and direct control. However, the impact benefits can be huge.

With continuous changes to the internet, consumer trends and buyer demands, greater options and variation is available to buyers in order to make an informed decision. These options range from video, blogs, reviews, articles and site specific content or deals.

Key platforms used by buyers, and those that rate very well on search engines are: Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Slideshare, Blogspot and many more. It is not the platform that is important but the context and manner in which the search is conducted and influencing the outcome of the results.

Hotel buyers are seeking solution to general questions and needs such as “cheap deals”, “accommodation”, “location X”, “hotel stays” and “location hotels”. These searches are where the measurable and buying traffic originates but hotels and accommodation providers have been very slow to adapt and capitalize on this money market sector. All too regularly, buyers are not meeting sellers and hotel owners are not getting as much business as they could if they adapted to change.

Hotel Marketing Out of Sync

 

Most hotels and chains believe the solution to their future is with the collective booking sites and on-sellers of hotel deals and packages. This is simply not true. If anything, the search engines are increasingly penalizing these sites as they show less-and-less favor for returning results to a general search that leads them to yet another search engine and search requirements on a non-targeted site. In short, they constitute a competitive option to the search engine providers. More targeted and relevant sites will ALWAYS get preference over generic or aggregated sites, the only reason this is not currently reflected in all searches today is that there is not enough targeted, quality options to return for these searches, so the search engines have to show something, or loose business themselves.

A recent survey and audit we conducted of over 250 hotels, showed that less than 10% of sites and hotels/accommodation providers had even the most basic of strategies to connect them to 90% of their market. The primary reason for this is two fold. The first is that like many businesses their online presence is that of a legacy approach, often stemming from when they first set up their sites and online footprint many years ago. The internet, consumers and choices have increased exponentially but they have not kept pace and in many instances older, more established brands have lost online market share to newer more dynamic and in-sync providers. The second reason is the industry itself. Running and managing a hotel or accommodation facility is not an easy undertaking and most likely a 24 hour task. The hourly and daily demands means that owners and managers tend to get more entrenched with the here and now issues than that of market trends, changing buyer patterns and adapting to new technology. While many people have experience and training in traditional business practices such as management, finance and traditional marketing, surprisingly few have any training or experience in contemporary marketing, social media or internet marketing.

Marketing is all about appearing where your customers are found or looking. Businesses provide an address, phone number, website and even a fax number to aid customers in finding and communicating with them. Why then do they appear in other areas or formats for customers to engage and communicate? Given the hundreds of social media and online options, if a hotel or accommodation provider is not present in at least 4 of those locations, then they are at an extreme disadvantage and will progressively loose market share. There is no rule that states “You may only have one website” nor is there one that states “You will never appear more than once on the front page of a Google search”.

Most of the online opportunities for hotels and accommodation providers goes unrealized, a few are making good on the low cost of entry, smart targeting, continuous value and relating to customers like never before to grow their business and even dominate local and online markets.

Online Opportunities with Social Media for Hotels

 

With the slow adaptation and lack of understanding amongst the hotel industry, providers and marketing teams from hotels and accommodation suppliers can still get incredible results in short periods without massive outlays. With a calculated and systematic entry or review, hotels can reduce their cost of acquisition, increase up sell opportunities and create a greater repeat business model.

Social media is an ideal “vehicle” for distribution of content. Not just content for the sake of content but valuable and relevant content to those that care or want to consume this and more on their ideal topics. Create your own subject specific “channel” for communication.

The first step for hotels is to conduct a keyword, online analysis to see what are the most common and frequently used terms and expressions for their business offering. Not their brands or services. The next step is to listen; that is watch and listen what is being said and distributed about their respective niche. Find out what consumers are looking for, what they are say, how they view competitors and above all determine what they need to get more of in the way of hotels, accommodation, food and meeting venues. Next hotels need to speak, on their passion, there offering and their knowledge of the location and things in the vicinity of their hotel or accommodation. This provides opportunity to promulgate information and establish what works and what doesn’t. It does take time and practice. If it were easy, everyone would have already done it but it is easier than most think. Lastly, it is time to engage. Have two way conversations. Listen to what is said about you, your services and your offering and engage. Honestly an sincerely, not in a fake or prefabricated manner. This is a human-to-human process not corporate to individual. Those days have passed.

Conclusion: Social Media for Hotels

Now that you understand the importance of getting your social media for hotels and online marketing approach correct, you should immediately compare your current approach to the optimized one we have outlined here. In this article we have covered hotel buyers, hotel marketing and online opportunities using social media and other online marketing options. If you put this to immediate use, you will see improvement and significant potential for both increased customers and market share.

Social Media for Hotels by

Tony Ridley