Hoteliers need to prepare crisis management strategies to deal with the media, leading experts have said.
Douglas Cameron, safety and security risk director for Hilton and director of consultancy Porter Novelli, Ben McCarthy, told delegates at the Master Innholders General Manager's Conference yesterday (16 January) that the key to media management in a crisis was "preparation, preparation, preparation".
Once a disaster story broke, they said, it was too late to plan crisis management strategies, and could seriously damage the business.
However good management of the situation could dictate the news agenda and actually result in a good result for the company.
Cameron explained: "The media will cover the story anyway, so you need to get your message out there. If you dictate the agenda because you have planned for these eventualities, then there is no room for commentators to speculate and take control of the agenda."
Former journalist McCarthy added: "Companies need to show they are in control. It will be chaos when disaster happens and you can't prepare for it then so you must have plans in place already."
By Emily Manson