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Crisis Management in the Travel Industry

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by

Adam Cooper

on 16 April 2013

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Transcript of Crisis Management in the Travel Industry

Crisis Management in the Travel Industry Crisis Management in Travel What constitutes an incident?

Any incident that causes or threatens to cause:

Death
Serious injury
Significant distress or trauma

...to customers, suppliers or employees

or serious impact to business operations with the potential to impact on company brands or to attract negative media coverage for the company. Incident assessment

Location and nature of incident
Time of incident
Numbers and names of customers or employees involved
Details of injuries fatalities involved
Details of other tour operators or airlines involved Incident assessment

RED: Any incident known to have caused multiple deaths/serious injury to customers or employees, or where our brand(s) could be under serious threat.

ORANGE: Any incident with the potential to become 'RED'.

GREEN: Any incident covered by normal procedures and requiring standard advice to management. Examples - RED

Transport
Aircraft crash, aircraft hijacking, train crash or derailment, coach crash / fire, cruise ship accident or boat / ferry accident

Damage to business premises
Damage or lack of access to business premises

Commercial incident
The collapse of a major tour operator, airline or other key supplier

Accommodation / Resort
Fire, explosion, lift accidents, serious structural failure or death / serious illness

Civil unrest
War, riots, terrorism or threat of terrorism

Health
Large scale food poisoning, epidemics (e.g. legionella, meningitis), or contact with contagious diseases

Industrial action
Widespread strikes / reduction of service by service providers such as airlines, ground handlers, hoteliers, air traffic control, local transportation or fuel suppliers

Nature
Extreme weather such as hurricanes or natural disasters such as earthquake, landslide, flooding or volcanoes Examples - Orange

Any incident listed 'RED' that does not require full EP invocation
Minor damage to a retail shop or head office building which does not cause closure
Airport strike or incidents impacting customers' ability to travel
Adverse weather conditions affecting customers, staff or suppliers
A minor health warning in resort
A number of customer complaints about a common hotel / resort issue
Any incident which may cause media interest Examples - Green

Incidents managed by standard procedures as day-to-day operational situations PR and communications in crisis management in travel Who?

Crisis Team PR and Communications Representative
Press Office Managers
Media Relations Manager
Internal Communications Manager
The SAT media minder Crisis Team PR and Communications Representative

Advise on media strategy and draft statements as required
Seek approval from the CEO / appointed deputy for the media strategy and all media statements
Recommend deployment of key spokespeople for the UK and overseas if required
Ensure and open line is established with the Press Office / PR department of any other Group businesses involved
Update other communication teams within the TC Group, the Financial PR agency and the Group's Investor Relations Team
Update the crisis team on media interest and lines of reporting
Advise on sourcing additional specialist PR help if required Press Office Managers

Act as the conduit between the crisis team and the Press Office(s)
Activate the additional press office numbers and internal resources
Ensure all media calls are routed to the appropriate place
Manage the process associated with issuing media statements
Open lines of communication with other press offices as appropriate e.g. emergency services, business partners etc
Arrange interviews as agreed with the Crisis Team PR and Communications Representative
Set up press conferences as agreed with the Crisis Team PR and Communications Representative
Ensure websites are updated and information current Media Relations Manager

Co-ordinate incoming and outgoing press calls using in-house PR executives
Provide media teams with necessary information (fast facts / key messages)
Alert the Press Office Manager if more resources are required
Monitor and report on media lines of enquiry
Prioritise media call backs and monitor call back performance
Monitor team welfare and arrange shift changes Internal Communications Manager

Ensure appropriate guidance is issued employees / internal stakeholders
Develop and distribute company statements to each relevant audience (to approved by the crisis team)
Create Q&As as appropriate
Ensure intranets and other internal channels are up-to-date with company statements and guidance
Provide other support the Press Office as requested SAT Media Minder

Provide support and guidance the SAT on media related issues
Manage the company spokesperson sent to support the SAT
Establish a media centre and compile a press briefing schedule
Monitor the activities of the local media
Ensure the latest SAT information is reviewed before statements are agreed
Consider what information / information should be issued to other customers at the incident site
Deliver statements as directed by the Crisis Team
Work under the full direction of the Crisis Team Guidelines for dealing with the media The three 'C's

Concerned
Committed
In Control Information void - Initial statement

We are aware there has been an incident (confirm facts)
We are concerned by the news and our thoughts are with those involved and their families
We are working to establish what happened
We have launched a full investigation
We have deployed a task force (SAT)
We have set up a 24 hour helpline
We will brief again when further information is available Confirm the facts

Name / number of aircraft / vehicle / accommodation / resort
Location / country of incident
How many customers were involved
Helpline numbers Subsequent communication - "little and often"

Be seen to be pro-active and not defensive
Be a credible source and show we have nothing to hide
Emphasise the situation is being dealt with at the highest level (use senior spokespeople)
Update written statements and reissue regularly Manage the media - public information channel

Ensure consistent key messages across all channels and locations
Set and communicate timings for media updates
Ensure that inaccurate or misleading reporting is corrected quickly
Full transcript