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Destination Think Virtual Forum, session 2: Adjusting your destination’s communications through the COVID-19 crisis

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What should a destination marketing organization do with its earned, owned and paid channels during the COVID-19 crisis? This session focuses on what your organization can do right now during the mitigation phase with rock-solid crisis communications practices.

Destination Think's Creative Director Steve Hanzic and Lead Content Strategist Sara Raymond gave this presentation on day two of Destination Think Virtual Forum. Watch the recording on our blog: https://destinationthink.com/blog/virtual-forum-day-2-destination-communications-covid-19

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Destination Think Virtual Forum, session 2: Adjusting your destination’s communications through the COVID-19 crisis

  1. 1. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 COVID-19 VIRTUAL FORUM COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES
  2. 2. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 RODNEY STEVE DAVIDSARA
  3. 3. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 UNCERTAIN TIMES
  4. 4. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 WE CAN’T LOSE SIGHT OF THE REALITY
  5. 5. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020
  6. 6. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 COVID-19 VIRTUAL FORUM STRATEGY COMMS INDUSTRY YESTERDAY TODAY TOMORROW
  7. 7. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 JOIN THE COVID-19 NETWORK SUPPORT INITIATIVE ● ● ● ● ●
  8. 8. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 ASSUME NOTHING. QUESTION EVERYTHING.
  9. 9. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 QUESTION Your audiences How you communicate Your tactics How you behave Your offering Your processes Even your objectives
  10. 10. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 ASSUME NOTHING. QUESTION EVERYTHING.
  11. 11. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 WHAT’S AHEAD 1. TOP-LINE PRINCIPLES 2.ANATOMY OF COMMS 3.WORKING DIFFERENTLY
  12. 12. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 MITIGATE RESTART REIMAGINE WE ARE HERE TOURISMECONOMY TIME THREE PHASES OF FOCUS
  13. 13. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 A CHECKLIST IN UNCERTAIN TIMES
  14. 14. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 1. CONSIDER YOUR AUDIENCE CHECKLIST IN UNCERTAIN TIMES
  15. 15. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 Are we considering the emotional state of our audience? 1. CONSIDER YOUR AUDIENCE
  16. 16. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 LENS AUDIENCE FEELING GRIEF DIRECTLY IMPACTED BY THE CRISIS ANXIOUS AND UNCERTAIN STRESSED AND ANNOYED BORED GRATEFUL AND OPTIMISTIC DESTINATION THINK COVID-19 TOOLKIT: MITIGATE EMOTIONAL LENS
  17. 17. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 Are we overstepping our place? Will it be appreciated? 1. CONSIDER YOUR AUDIENCE
  18. 18. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 Are we providing value to our audience? 1. CONSIDER YOUR AUDIENCE
  19. 19. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 Are we encouraging unsafe behaviour? 1. CONSIDER YOUR AUDIENCE
  20. 20. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 Are we making assumptions about our audience’s current access to resources? 1. CONSIDER YOUR AUDIENCE
  21. 21. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 1. CONSIDER YOUR AUDIENCE Are we considering the emotional state of our audience? Are we overstepping our place? Will it be appreciated? Are we providing value to our audience? Are we encouraging unsafe behaviour? Are we making assumptions on our audience’s current access to resources? CHECKLIST IN UNCERTAIN TIMES
  22. 22. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 1. CONSIDER YOUR AUDIENCE CHECKLIST IN UNCERTAIN TIMES
  23. 23. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 DOES BRAND HAVE A PLACE IN UNCERTAIN TIMES?
  24. 24. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 “A brand is a living entity – and it is enriched or undermined cumulatively over time, the product of a thousand small gestures.”
  25. 25. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 “Using your expertise or brand capital to help during a crisis is not about commercial advantage or profit. It is about doing the right thing for society and showing a company’s true values and citizenship.”
  26. 26. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 BRAND
  27. 27. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 LOVE
  28. 28. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 “Your brand is what other people say about you when you're not in the room.”
  29. 29. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 DESTINATIONS CAN BEHAVE IN A RANGE OF WAYS THAT WILL EARN BRAND LOVE
  30. 30. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 BEING A RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN #LoveNSW Virtually
  31. 31. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 BEING A MOTIVATIONAL CITIZEN Flower Council of Holland
  32. 32. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 BEING A HUMANE CITIZEN Being personable Sara example https://www.euronews.com/2020/03/29/coronavirus-portugal-grants-temporary-citizenship-rights-to-migrants
  33. 33. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 BEING THE CITIZEN THAT CITIZENS NEED AT THIS EXACT MOMENT
  34. 34. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 BEING THE CITIZEN THAT CITIZENS NEED AT THIS EXACT MOMENT. CREATIVE STRATEGY Support local needs right now. Unite the community, give them a little of what they are missing back. Support Industry where possible. Do it in a way that shows a genuine side of ourselves so onlookers get a real feel for the place.
  35. 35. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020
  36. 36. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 There’s plenty we know for sure here in the river This place is real Real beauty Real nature Full of real people People willing to stand up and get in there Get their hands dirty (and give ‘em a good wash right after of course) It’s where people know when to look out for each other And when it’s a good idea to keep their distance A real place full of real people where it doesn’t matter how far you go Or how long it’s been we always pick up, right where we left off. Because even if everything changes We know one thing never will We’re better together Even if it is from a social distance. So come on, we got this Campbell River SCRIPT: RALLYING THE RIVER BEING THE CITIZEN THAT CITIZENS NEED AT THIS EXACT MOMENT.
  37. 37. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 BEING THE CITIZEN THAT CITIZENS NEED AT THIS EXACT MOMENT.
  38. 38. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 BEING THE CITIZEN THAT CITIZENS NEED AT THIS EXACT MOMENT.
  39. 39. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 FOCUS ON THE VALUES THAT DEFINE YOUR DESTINATION BRAND You can’t tell people to believe your values. It’s what we have wrestled with for years. You need to prove to them they are true. Be human.
  40. 40. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 MITIGATE RESTART REIMAGINE WE ARE HERE TOURISMECONOMY TIME THREE PHASES HOW YOU RESPOND WILL REFLECT YOUR BRAND
  41. 41. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 PLACES WILL MOVE BACK AND FORTH THROUGH PHASES LO C K D O W N 01 LO C A LLY R ESTR IC TED02 R EG IO N A LLY R ESTR IC TED 03 N A TIO N A LLY R ESTR IC TED 04 U N R ESTR IC TED 05 HOW YOU RESPOND WILL REFLECT YOUR BRAND RESTRICTION SCENARIOS
  42. 42. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 ANATOMY OF COMMS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES
  43. 43. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 LO C K D O W N 01 RESTRICTION SCENARIOS OF FOCUS LO C A LLY R ESTR IC TED 02
  44. 44. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 LENS AUDIENCE FEELING GRIEF DIRECTLY IMPACTED BY THE CRISIS ANXIOUS AND UNCERTAIN STRESSED AND ANNOYED BORED GRATEFUL AND OPTIMISTIC HOW TO REACT DESTINATION THINK COVID-19 TOOLKIT: MITIGATE EMOTIONAL LENS (DRAFT ONLY)
  45. 45. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020
  46. 46. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 TONE
  47. 47. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 01 Helpful, not excited. Calm, but optimistic. Human. All in this together. Taking it day by day. Supportive. TONE LOCKDOWN
  48. 48. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 TONE LOCKDOWN01 02 LOCALLY RESTRICTED Grateful, looking toward future. Cautiously optimistic, but still not eager. All in this together. Reflective. Supportive. Helpful, not excited. Calm, but optimistic. Human. All in this together. Taking it day by day. Supportive.
  49. 49. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 Example
  50. 50. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 REMEMBER THE BASICS. SOCIAL MEDIA IS ABOUT COMMUNITY. If you’re not running paid, you’re probably depending a lot on organic social. That means switching mindset from “pushing” messages to facilitating conversation.
  51. 51. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 INITIATIVES & CONTENT FOR LOCALS
  52. 52. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 01 Be transparent and direct about news. Encourage supporting local business through available options like takeout and delivery. Lean on your locals to share content that can drive local pride, or provide perspectives to share with potential visitors. Activate locals in a way that they can support you in the future. Champion those doing good. INITIATIVES & CONTENT FOR LOCALS LOCKDOWN
  53. 53. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 INITIATIVES & CONTENT FOR LOCALS LOCKDOWN01 02 LOCALLY RESTRICTED Be transparent about news, informative about how to keep communities safe while travelling. Encourage locals to support the community through travelling locally when safe: day trips and weekend trips, depending on the size of destination and the state of the pandemic. Rally local pride: residents supporting residents. Still use locals as a way to explore place on outsiders’ behalf. Champion those doing good. Be transparent and direct about news. Encourage supporting local business through available options like takeout and delivery. Lean on your locals to share content that can drive local pride, or provide perspectives to share with potential visitors. Activate locals in a way that they can support you in the future. Champion those doing good.
  54. 54. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020
  55. 55. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020
  56. 56. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 HOW CAN YOUR MESSAGES HELP LOCALS & BUSINESSES NOW?
  57. 57. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 INITIATIVES & CONTENT FOR ADVOCATES
  58. 58. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 01 Be transparent and direct with news and travel updates. Encourage them to share memories of past travel. Deep dives into storytelling as a distraction from the news. Encourage support of small biz from afar. INITIATIVES & CONTENT FOR ADVOCATES LOCKDOWN
  59. 59. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 INITIATIVES & CONTENT FOR ADVOCATES LOCKDOWN01 02 LOCALLY RESTRICTED Be transparent and direct with news and travel updates. Encourage them to share memories of past travel. Deep dives into storytelling as a distraction from the news. Encourage support of small biz from afar. Transparent, informative about news and travel updates. Dive deeper into their stories and recommendations of past travels. Encourage support of local biz from afar- especially as more might be open.
  60. 60. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020
  61. 61. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020
  62. 62. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 INITIATIVES & CONTENT FOR FIRST-TIME VISITORS
  63. 63. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 REMEMBER THE CHECKLIST. ESPECIALLY HERE. Visitor at the core - everything you make is for them, not you.
  64. 64. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020
  65. 65. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 INITIATIVES & CONTENT FOR FIRST-TIME VISITORS LOCKDOWN01 Be transparent and direct with news and travel updates. Provide breaks from the news with live looks from your destination. Educate travellers with “virtual visits” that are available (museums, wildlife, or live streams). Share positive stories from your destination. “Travel later” messages are ok, but be cautious they aren’t risking being repetitive or insensitive.
  66. 66. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 01 02 Be transparent and direct with news and travel updates. Still don’t actively encourage travelling to the area. A gentle hint toward travel planning or forward-thinking about where and how to travel is ok Glimpses/ live looks with more of a future-focused view. Deeper dives into education about your place. Educate on how to be a better traveller in a more grateful world. Be transparent and direct with news and travel updates. Provide breaks from the news with live looks from your destination. Educate travellers with “virtual visits” that are available (museums, wildlife, or live streams). Share positive stories from your destination. “Travel later” messages are ok, but be cautious they aren’t risking being repetitive or insensitive. INITIATIVES & CONTENT FOR FIRST-TIME VISITORS LOCKDOWN LOCALLY RESTRICTED
  67. 67. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020
  68. 68. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020
  69. 69. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 CONTENT OF VALUE: School lessons, art lessons, photography, recipes (etc)
  70. 70. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020
  71. 71. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 HEADING INTO RESTART
  72. 72. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 Which sort of traveller will you want to attract back? Write content that inspires the ideal visitor, not the random. ASK YOURSELF
  73. 73. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 What would you like the world to know about your home if they had never heard of it before? ASK YOURSELF
  74. 74. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 Use this opportunity to get beneath the surface of the destination and showcase who you really are, and why you stand out from other places.
  75. 75. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 WE HAVE TO WORK DIFFERENT
  76. 76. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 WORK DIFFERENT Budgets are slashed or non-existent. Rethink your mix.
  77. 77. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 OWNED PAID EARNED WORK DIFFERENT RETHINK YOUR MIX
  78. 78. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 WORK DIFFERENT RETHINK YOUR MIX: BEFORE PAID OWNED EARNED
  79. 79. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 WORK DIFFERENT RETHINK YOUR MIX: RIGHT NOW OWNED EARNED PAID
  80. 80. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 WORK DIFFERENT People want to help. Let them. Ask your agency to work differently with you. Test and learn, but always remember the checklist. Don’t feel obligated. If you are not sure, less is more.
  81. 81. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 BUT DON’T ABANDON THE FUNDAMENTALS Ideas will always stand out from the crowd no matter the budget. Figure out a way that many small actions can amplify a singular high level message. Don’t follow the herd.
  82. 82. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 JOIN THE COVID-19 NETWORK SUPPORT INITIATIVE ● ● ● ● ●
  83. 83. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 LIVE QUESTIONS
  84. 84. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 LET’S STAY IN THIS TOGETHER
  85. 85. COVID-19: COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES APRIL 2020 COVID-19 VIRTUAL FORUM COMMUNICATIONS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES

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