Best Hotel Reputation Management | Skyrocket YOUR Brand

by | Feb 16, 2024

While working in a leadership capacity in the hospitality industry can certainly be incredibly fulfilling, it can also be filled with uncertainties due to the risks that come with being in the industry. That is why it’s SO very important to cultivate a resilient hotel reputation management plan that centers on the right messaging if an issue comes to fruition.


Fine-Tuning Your Message to Your Clientele


Whether you’re a cozy B&B in the countryside or an elegant hotel with stunning views of the city, your brand voice should be memorable and resonate with all your guests.


Have a special package for honeymooners or are you a destination focused hotel? It’s all about telling the story of the guest experience and connecting with your audience. Whether it is on social media, travel publications or Expedia, make sure your message resonates with the people you want to attract.


Potential Mishaps and What to Do


Running a hospitality business can be filled with uncertainties and major stress due to risks. Issues can range from safety incidents and security concerns to a full-blown infrastructure crisis. There are different ways to manage and mitigate each situation. Luckily, we’ve come up with a strategy for you.


That One Bad Review


We’ve all been there. You pour your heart into making your hotel a home away from home, and then a less-than-stellar Google review pops up. It feels personal. Whether it’s a social media comment about a disgruntled guest or negative media coverage, it’s easy to feel like someone’s rained on your parade.


Every issue can be a silver lining if managed correctly. Each review is a nugget of insight and an opportunity to get better. It’s a chance to improve your service or enhance the guest experience and show that you’re a team of caring people that listens to your guests.   


Dealing With Negative Reviews for Your Hotel


Here’s the secret: A bad review is just a good story waiting to happen. The first step to hotel reputation management is to address it head-on with a personal touch. Apologize, make it right, and show that you’re not just a brand but a team of professionals who genuinely care about your guests. If handled with a soft touch, your biggest critic could become a brand ambassador for you.


A Hotel Cybersecurity Breach


If it can happen to a massive company like MGM, it can happen to you. A cybersecurity breach can leave guests concerned about their personal information and tarnish your reputation for months, maybe years. It’s what you do next that defines you. The silver lining is that you can respond, recover and thrive IF you act proactively.


Cybersecurity 101: Keep Calm and Secure On


The key is to proactively communicate with your guests, suppliers, and community partners. Be honest about the breach, keep everyone in the loop about what you’re doing to fix the issue, who you are cooperating with and steps you are taking to ensure this doesn’t happen again. Refrain from releasing too much information and keep your communications brief with your stakeholders.


Food Poisoning: The Unwanted Menu Item


Food is the focal piece of comfort in the hospitality business, so when a guest claims they have food poisoning from eating in your hotel’s restaurant or café it can present a real danger to your brand.


Upon hearing this news, you should step up and ensure that all staff are properly trained on food handling and storage practices. Be swift to respond, generous with support, and transparent in your actions. It’s about showing that people’s health is not only your top priority; it’s a core value.


Serving Up Solutions


First things first, make sure anyone affected is okay and feels heard, understood, and acknowledged. Then, get to the bottom of the issue—fast. Keep the lines of communication open with your guests, showing that their well-being is your top priority. Remember, people appreciate a brand that shows it’s human and caring, especially when things go wrong.  


Then you’ll need to do an audit in the kitchen and with staff. Make any necessary improvements and most importantly, communicate across the appropriate channels about the changes any improvements in training staff, or changes being implemented to assure future guests.


Meth Labs in Hotels


Yes, you read that right. Hotel, motels and large buildings where people congregate can be impacted by the underground world of drug trafficking. In fact, it’s more common than you may think. Individuals rent out rooms for an extended period of time (say, a week) and create a makeshift meth lab in a room. Knowing there’s an illicit drug operation a few doors down is one thing, but this illegal activity can significantly damage the hotel room and spark a fire.


How to Handle the Unthinkable


First properly training staff to spot the signs of illegal drug activity and implementing procedures of registering guests with valid identification is the first step. If illegal activity is detected, then immediately call authorities. Next, you’ll need to reassure your guests and the community. Own the narrative by being transparent about what happened and what you’re doing to prevent it from ever happening again. This isn’t just damage control; it’s showing that you’re on top of things and care deeply about your guests’ safety.


Human Trafficking: Not on Our Watch


Hotels can unwittingly become crossroads for human trafficking and it’s not something we can’t turn a blind eye to. It’s a global problem and one that doesn’t just affect the hotel/motel industry.


Your Hotel, the Safe Haven


Train your staff on what to look for, ensure your employees now what to do if they suspect someone may be in danger and work with local authorities to make sure your hotel is part of the solution, not the problem.


Hotel Reputation Management Tactics


Reputation management IS something you should be doing every day. How do you want to be seen and remembered? What’s the first word you want people to think of when they see your brand? Ask yourself these questions and work on positioning your hotel this way.


Establishing a Strong Online Presence


Start with a website that’s not just a brochure, but a portal into the experience you offer guests. Search engine optimization is your site’s passport to visibility. Content creation is your voice; make it resonate with blogs and videos that welcome potential guests into your hotel before they step through the doors.


Leverage Social Media for Positive Reviews


1 in 5 guests will research hotels on social media before they book. It goes without saying that you MUST have a social media presence. Instagram, Facebook and TikTok for starters. 40% of people will leave a positive review if they had a great experience at your hotel. So, make sure your property has Instagram-worthy images.


Partner with Charities: Cultivating Community and Compassion


Aligning your hotel with charitable causes isn’t just good karma; it’s smart strategy. It’s about weaving the fabric of social responsibility into the very essence of your brand. Here’s a Solv Pro Tip —people love to support businesses that give back.


Partner With Hotel PR Experts


Your guests’ journey is no longer linear. In today’s diverse communication environment, it involves a variety of touchpoints. At Solv Communications, we’re experts at hotel reputation management (online and offline). We’re here to support you with our knowledge and experience in the PR and hospitality space so that it translated to meaningful traction and lasting value.


Nicole Harris

Nicole Harris is the Founder and CEO of Solv Communications, a leading Reputation Management and PR agency in the Prairies. As a former network television news anchor and reporter, Nicole has gained deep insight into the power of earning trust through strategic communication. Over her 15-year career in the media she has covered some of the most high- profile risk management stories including cyber breaches at Fortune 500 companies, product recalls, workplace violence and everything in between. Nicole and her team’s extensive industry knowledge and strategic guidance will help you focus on what is in your control to mitigate risk and minimize damage to your reputation. It’s all about prioritizing strategic planning to spot an issue, effectively manage it, and develop action plans to safely steer you through any situation before it damages your reputation. Nicole has developed and delivered bespoke reputation management, strategic, and media training for senior executives, board members, politicians, and celebrities.

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