Hannah Vazzana, Senior Vice President Corporate Strategy & Communications at Hilton Grand Vacations.
In less than a year, Covid-19 has upended the way we live, work and interact with 1 a different. For the reason that of these putting adjustments, the pandemic has had an amazing effect throughout all industries, and this is especially real for the travel market.
If Covid-19 has taught us anything at all in the communications field, it truly is that we need to be adaptable. This is specially crucial when details changes at warp pace and requirements to be communicated immediately, efficiently and in a digestible way to a wide range of stakeholders.
As the head of Hilton Grand Vacations’ (HGV) corporate communications and company system departments, this yr has been one of continuous pivoting for both equally my groups. And whilst some of the communications changes we have activated may well be momentary, other applications and methods we’ve launched this calendar year to assist us communicate with our audiences will be more long term.
Listed here are some of my observations on how the travel industry can adapt its communications approaches and practices to Covid-19.
Communicating Traveling Security
Studies continue to display that several travelers want to journey, but it is significant to aid them experience safe and sound though they are touring. It can be our career as communicators to be transparent though developing believe in with our proprietors and clients.
We constantly teach our entrepreneurs and shoppers on our Improved Treatment Tips that have been executed to assistance maintain them safe and sound. I advocate sharing your firm’s guidelines extensively throughout all channels, such as push releases, focused operator communications, team member communications, devoted internet webpages and social media platforms.
Communicating this new common of cleanliness will give your homeowners and guests the self-confidence they have to have to travel properly, as a result lowering cancellations and rescheduled vacations.
Moreover, inspire your crew associates to be risk-free whilst at get the job done and outdoors of operate via ongoing communications campaigns.
Electronic, Electronic, Digital
The pandemic accelerated numerous of the digital transformations that have been at present underway at HGV. In addition to digital meetings, conferences and extra, we have progressed several of our communications tools, these as taking Club Traveler wholly digital.
What was the moment our three-periods-a-yr printed publication for Club Associates is now accessible in a electronic-only structure. This technologies offers several added benefits, this kind of as delivering metrics monitoring and immersive articles. The print editions of Club Traveler were being also removed from visitor rooms to add to the firm’s Increased Care Rules.
In addition, HGV has rolled out new application resources that make it possible for us to converse with our workforce customers by way of the device that is usually in their pockets — their phones. Historically, our on-web page resort group members have been a tough viewers to attain, as they do not accomplish their employment in entrance of a personal computer. This technology lets us to join with these workforce users in serious-time and share vacation resort information, schedule updates and far more. We’ve found in a couple quick months that this software has been very successful, and our group members are engaged and simpler to connect with.
Now a lot more than at any time, it really is a fantastic thought to just take inventory of any communications products you are presently printing or that require optimizing. Once you’ve identified these materials, you can lean on your IT or digital services teams to assistance you problem-clear up all over if and how to get these supplies electronic — or how to choose them to the following degree. Also contemplate seeking at your facts to ascertain what information your focus on viewers accesses most. Then, prioritize digitizing or increasing the digital expertise for these vital regions of content very first. Ultimately, think about leveraging external experts if you do not have the methods to make these modifications in-dwelling.
Although we’ve designed favourable enhancements throughout our communications equipment and techniques, it is essential to be aware that some of our extra “old college” strategies — these as email campaigns and on-site stand-up meetings — are nonetheless tried out-and-accurate methods to reaching our customers and on-internet site vacation resort staff associates.
We ramped up present channels to create new approaches to share information and facts. A person instance of this is the launching of our Journey Updates internet website page on our major site. By way of social media, qualified email strategies and other communications, we drive homeowners and shoppers right here to obtain up-to-date information on resort reopenings, Increased Care Guidelines and backlinks to government mandates to assure our owners and consumers constantly have the most up-to-day info — at all occasions.
The journey business has accomplished an remarkable occupation of holding people knowledgeable all through a time of immediate adjust and overflow of information and facts. Assessment your internet site with a fresh new set of eyes to make guaranteed alerts like these pop and are quick to navigate. Assure another person is focused to updating information and particularly deleting information that is no extended pertinent to make it as uncomplicated as feasible for the purchaser or staff member.
You can also do the job with your manufacturer crew to briefly update your language, tone and use of imagery. This is a time when it is really essential to spouse with the company and deliver counsel all-around the total consumer and group member weather so that your messaging and business methods can be adjusted accordingly.
In a 12 months in contrast to any other, I observed communications groups move up their game and demonstrate to be dynamic, versatile and really invaluable to their corporations. Covid-19 not only brought the globe to a standstill but also forced absolutely everyone to pay back consideration and listen. Communicators so realized to even further harness their innate ability to use text to teach, notify, share compassion, and most importantly, convey persons jointly for the duration of this unprecedented time. These skills drove the achievements of communications groups past calendar year and will keep on to serve them well outside of 2021 and Covid-19.