Time and again, unexpected events remind me that places and businesses of all sizes must be ready for unforeseen disasters and crises. Unfortunately, most believe that bad things won’t happen to them. While most organizations in the tourism and hospitality industry know they need a crisis communications plan, many believe it will be too complicated and time-consuming. Hence they delay getting started.
The recently released book, “It’s a Crisis! Now What?” by travel marketing, crisis management and media training expert Peggy Bendel is a great place to start. To aid those who want to keep their planning simple, Peggy has identified four basic steps for creating the framework for a crisis communications plan. These are:
- Don’t panic!
- Brainstorm “what-ifs?”
- Who do you need to contact?
- Update your plan, frequently!
I have observed Peggy in a professional capacity for over 20 years, and have seen her calmly manage crisis communications for a wide variety of clients. This book presents brief situations and solutions that hold valuable and timely lessons. It is designed as a workbook for readers to take notes and develop their own actions. Today, a crisis communications plan is an essential business tool to protect the brand equity that places and businesses have invested in for decades.