This week tragedy unfolded at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul as terrorists attacked the site, leading to a deadly battle. The hotel is considered to be in a relatively safe and calm district, so this attack is certainly unsettling to both locals and travelers.
The hotel’s corporate office has issued statements of condolence and concern (though we would have advised placing these press releases more prominently on relevant pages instead of burying them in several click-throughs). That said, the particular PR issue of course is crisis management for similar incidents at hotels worldwide. After all, it hasn’t been too long since the similar – and far more devastating – attack took place at Mumbai sites in 2008.
Crisis PR for any global entity, including hotels, must think far and wide when it comes to the range of disasters it must prepare for. Think of it this way:
• Hotel in Japan? Consider that a tsunami or other natural disaster may hit.
• Hotel in Greece? The austerity riots have been raging for weeks, are area hotel guests ready to navigate the mayhem?
• Hotel in Canada? The Vancouver riots and violence certainly won’t make guests feel terribly welcome anytime soon.
• Hotel in New Zealand? Hope that Chile volcano eruption doesn’t affect visiting guests.
• Hotel in Egypt? That country continues to grapple with the fallout from revolution.
• Hotel in New York? We all know how this one is playing out so far.
The point is to show a snapshot of the truly global phenomena of crisis management for hotels, and how the discipline applies on just about every continent. That means prior planning to grid out the potential scenarios, and a social media and digital strategy to broadcast rapid messages to inform guests and future business about the current state of affairs. If a global hotel chain hasn’t checked in on these fronts, then they certainly can’t expect future guests to do the same.