As the tourism begins to rebuild and the hospitality sector starts to reopen, hotels are still facing obstacles in order to get the balance right between pre-COVID messaging and a new approach that suits post-pandemic anxiety and expectations. But where there is change, there is opportunity.
Luxury travel and hospitality PR specialists, Fox Communications have teamed up with Mind Environment to create a Road to Recovery Guide designed to help hotels build trust, define purpose, create PR strategy, align to emerging trends and adapt to the ‘new normal’.
Acknowledge the New Normal
As lockdowns lift and travel resumes, it’s crucial to adapt your communications strategy to the ‘new world.’ Months in lockdown has caused a shift in consumer behaviour, and a strong brand identity and communication is more important than ever in today’s highly saturated and competitive marketplace.
Implementing a new strategy is crucial, but communicating this in the right manner, at the right time and through the right channels is imperative. Here’s what you need to do:
- Establish and Maintain Strong Brand Identify
- Communicating Purpose and Value Is Crucial In Establishing Trust And Loyalty
- Identify Today’s Consumer and Industry Trends
- Adapt Your Strategy and Communication To Meet Consumer Demands
- New Brand Partnerships
Clear Purpose Defined
As people begin to the gradual process towards full confidence in travel, having a clear brand purpose defined has never been more important.
Use the following questions as a starting block to define your purpose:
- What impact is this current crisis having on your purpose, both as a threat and an opportunity?
- Alongside preserving the best of what you had before, does your purpose give you the scope to see new opportunities and develop them?
- Does your purpose contribute to making the world a better place? If not, why not?
- What are the below-the surface forces that are stopping you from seeing your desired purpose more clearly, and from putting it into action with greater focus?
Experience Leads the Way
The general tone in media has continued to shift toward how travel brands will adapt to the new normal – not just through cleanliness and hygiene, but with experiences such as spa and wellbeing, food and beverage and excursions.
One thing we know for sure, is this pandemic will change the way in which people travel. Travel will become even more meaningful and appreciated, with purpose-led trips, opportunities to spend time with family (multi-gen trips) and sustainable experiences taking precedence.
Rebuilding Comms Strategy
The pandemic has influenced the behaviour of affluent consumers, so we believe it is paramount that the experience you offer and communicate is aligned with the emerging trends – such as the ‘new era of luxury’
The human need to feel connected to places, experiences, people and oneself has strengthened, but the pandemic has also heightened the importance of privacy, spa and wellbeing experiences, purpose-led travel, sustainability and philanthropy.
Here are some emerging trends to consider:
The pursuit for privacy will be heightened. Secluded and self-contained options will be favoured, along with private suites that offer in-room experiences or private entrances to limit interaction with other guests. What can you implement that reassures guests and quashes anxieties about overcrowded communal spaces?
Post-pandemic, travellers will be looking for a well-needed holistic wellbeing break that focuses on self-improvement. Experiences that cater to one person, or small groups, are trending upward. How can you cater to the newfound desire for privacy in spa and/or wellbeing areas? What protocols are being put in place across the properties?
Travellers want to be ‘life rich’ and will seek meaningful travel with impactful outcomes – trips are now more treasured than ever and need to make a lasting impact, whether it’s learning a new skill, being immersed in local cultures or taking part in sustainability initiatives. Media will look for new experiences, or unique/ quirky offerings that are being relaunched with new considerations.
The coronavirus has highlighted charity in its many guises, and it’s never been more important to consumers that brands step in for social good. Consider the charitable actions you can take to help local communities i.e. donating surplus food or hosting open kitchens for the vulnerable in society
Social media best practice
In the current climate, your social media presence is key. Due to the shift in consumer behaviour, there’s a newfound reliance on companies to interact, update and inform via their online platforms and social media channels.
It’s important to adapt social content in order to be creative yet remain sensitive toward these evolving consumer behaviours. Expectations around social media messaging are changing day-to-day during the pandemic, but it’s a key time to build relationships and ensure personalisation:
- Address the Crisis
- Considered Posting
- Consumer Engagement
Taking this a step further, and for a more tailored approach, Fox Communications would be delighted to work alongside your team on a short term project basis to help build a personalised PR and communications strategy, create messaging that matters and define your brand purpose in a post-COVID-19 world.