Hotel Crisis Communications: Are You Prepared?

As the years go by, it seems that more and more, hotels must re-design themselves as it relates to managing communications when faced with a major public crisis. Hotels encounter crisis of varying proportions on a daily basis. Some are of low level significance and can be handled internally, with a minimal amount of communication, written or verbal. Some are so serious, that advanced planning and preparation are not only prudent, but also necessary to ensure quick action under stress. It goes without saying that often the seriousness of the crisis goes hand in hand with the urgency of the timing of the response, the level of public exposure, and the need to act decisively from the start. It is helpful to look at the challenge in phases.

Phase One: Evaluate Internal Capabilities and Preparedness

The most important element of meeting the challenge of any crisis, is the efficiency with which the actual crisis is handled. The most important element of handling the public perception of that crisis, however, is having the right person or people in place to direct communication relative to the crisis while cultivating positive public opinion. Every hotel, regardless of size, must ask the question: Do we have the capabilities, i.e., the staff, skills, tools, and contacts to direct communications relative to the crisis? An initial internal evaluation of these capabilities might look something like this:

Does the hotel have the manpower and economic resources to hire an employee dedicated to communications and public relations?

Does this person speak both the language(s) of the region and the language of the international media (English)?

Has this person received crisis communications training?

Has this person received public relations training that qualifies him or her to effectively deal with the public and the media?

Does this person have the maturity to operate efficiently and professionally under extreme stress?

Has this person been exposed to crisis in a professional environment and if so, did the evaluation of his or her performance meet the standards of excellence required?
If the answer to any of the above is “no,” it may be time to consider whether a communications firm should be consulted either to perform the internal training, or to be on call for crisis eventualities in order to direct the communication at that time.

Phase Two: Implement Key Steps

Here are some key steps that can be organized by internal public relations staff or by external public relations/communications specialists:

Have a plan relative to all serious crises which can be reasonably anticipated, including terrorism, accident, natural disaster, fire, in short anything that has to do with guest or staff safety. Plans with regard to other issues that can have a negative economic or perceptual impact on the hotel are also very useful tools.

Rehearse the plan by creating mock exercises and evaluate staff accordingly.

Update the plan as experience indicates, but always at least annually. An independent audit of the plan by a Communications firm is advisable.

The first 24 hours of a safety crisis is critical. If feasible, get top-level management to the scene immediately for a site inspection and initial press conference. An internal staff member or a Communications firm should be accessible for this purpose 24 hours a day.

Issue initial statement, always demonstrating compassion for victims, if any, and set out concrete steps that indicate the way in which the hotel is responding. Limit your spokesperson to one, if at all possible to avoid contradiction.

Utilize a pre-established crisis center and enable pre-established action teams.

Set up an 800 (numero verde) number for special audiences (immediate family of guests, press, government officials, etc.)

To the extent necessary, hold daily press briefings at or near the crisis scene. Keep all other key audiences updated daily — employees, environmentalists, and government representatives.

Dispatch Communications or Public Relations representatives to crisis center and scene, and ensure they have optimum telecommunications equipment to keep in touch with key organization executives and all other interested audiences.

Phase Three: Re-Evaluate and Seek Assistance if Appropriate

Of course, this is just a rough outline to give an idea of the scope of the problem and solution. It is intended to be a departing point for discussion internally and/or with Communications specialists. It is, however, the one area in which advanced preparation is CRITICAL to the well-being of guests and staff and the future economic viability of the hotel.

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Bringing Together Technology With Unified Communications

With the landscape of the business world changing constantly, companies and organizations face a wide variety of challenges. As technological environments become more complex and workforces become increasingly mobile, adaptability and efficiency are vital to the survival and success of all companies and corporations. Yet, with so many different types of communication devices and applications in use by business people in a range of different locations, efficiency is often left by the wayside. Moreover, the divide between disparate communications technologies and systems often leads to unnecessary delays and information overload. However, business communication and collaboration is in the process of moving to a new level. By bringing technology together with unified communications, companies and organizations can now benefit from more intelligent, adaptable and efficient communication.

Unified communications is a relatively new and continuously evolving technology architecture which can include diverse features and functional components. By integrating and streamlining various media, applications and devices, unified communications creates a straightforward yet comprehensive and dynamic platform for business communication and collaboration. This technology architecture also provides an interface between both mobile and fixed devices, further enhancing the flexibility and versatility of the communications environment. Although telephony provides the core of unified communications, this type of comprehensive platform can also include systems and applications such as e-mail, database access, instant messaging, whiteboarding and video and web conferencing. When merged together into a single, unified system, these technologies can provide companies with powerful tools for moving ahead in the business world.

In fact, integrating voice, data and video into a unified interface can provide businesses with a wealth of valuable benefits. With the flexibility offered by a unified communications system, business partners and co-workers can easily adapt to a range of different situations. Whether at an airport, in a conference room or traveling in a vehicle, users will have the ability to connect with others in a variety of different ways. From sales team collaborations to sharing files with a supervisor, unified technology architectures provide the versatility and flexibility necessary for business people to adapt quickly and easily to whatever circumstances may arise.

Increased efficiency is also a benefit enjoyed by those organizations that choose to simplify communication with a fully integrated system. When communications technologies and devices are used separately, it’s not always easy to identify the best method of communicating in a particular situation. Also, messages can be misdirected. Not surprisingly, these challenges can and typically will result in delayed decisions and reduced productivity. On the other hand, unified communications allows disparate technologies to work seamlessly together and simplifies the entire communication process. By delivering messages by the recipient’s preferred method and by operating in a straightforward manner, integrated systems can reduce or even eliminate unnecessary delays, thereby increasing productivity.

In addition to the above benefits, unified communications also allows businesses to experience significant savings of both time and money. While decreasing delays in reaching decisions, unified technology architectures can also significantly reduce the need for business travel. When collaborations and meetings can be carried out just as effectively via technology rather than in person, there’s no longer any need for people to be constantly driving back and forth across the city or jetting back and forth across the planet. This means that business people don’t need to waste time in transit and companies can save significant amounts of money with the elimination of travel and accommodation costs. As a result, unified communications allows companies and organizations to make the very most of their available resources.

Despite the fact that integrated technology architectures allow organizations to experience increased efficiency and savings of time and money, the quality of communication is not jeopardized. On the contrary, unified communications systems provide a powerful way for associates and co-workers to stay connected. With so many available options and features, long-distance business collaborations can be just as engaging and productive as face-to-face collaborations. No matter what type of message needs to be delivered and no matter where the sender or recipient may be located, unified communications will allow information to be transmitted quickly and efficiently.

With reliable and experienced service providers such as InterCall working to help businesses make the most of today’s technology, now is the time for companies to consider investing in this evolving domain. Although the number of available communication devices and applications can be overwhelming at times, unified communications is an excellent solution to information overload and unnecessary delays. By bringing technology together and creating a straightforward and comprehensive communications environment, integrated technology architectures allow companies and organizations to move confidently toward the future.

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Unified Communications Is Becoming An Important Part Of Business Strategy

Without a comprehensive and well planned strategy, businesses won’t have the focus and direction they need to stand out from the crowd and be successful. In today’s fast-paced and technology-based world, it’s becoming more important than ever to integrate efficient methods of communication into the operations of every company and corporation. With so many different devices and applications available, it’s easy for communications to become more complex than they need to be. When this happens, the efficiency and productivity of businesses can suffer. As a result, many companies and corporations are now showing a strong interest in streamlining and simplifying methods of communication. This is why unified communications is becoming an important part of business strategy in many different industries.

Unified communications involves the integration of several different communications applications, devices and systems to create a sophisticated and streamlined environment. Typically, a divide exists between the two main forms of communication commonly used by businesses, synchronous and asynchronous. Synchronous communications include telephone calls and other real-time methods of communicating while asynchronous communications include e-mail and other message-based transmissions. The reason that a divide exists between these two categories is that they are typically supported by disparate networks. Thus, when you try to make use of multiple systems from different networks, problems and complexities arise.

However, the purpose of unified communications is to bridge that divide, removing barriers and complexities. Through the use of advanced software, providers of unified communications solutions use your existing infrastructure to integrate synchronous and asynchronous applications and devices into a comprehensive yet easy-to-use system. With so many communications options availability these days, including everything from video conferencing to text messaging, this form of integration and unification offers much-needed simplicity.

At the same time, businesses still have access to all of their preferred forms of connecting with associates and clients. For instance, all types of conferencing solutions such as audio, video and web conferencing can be unified with other systems and platforms. In fact, unified communications can streamline everything from telephone calls, voice mail and faxes to e-mail, instant messaging and whiteboarding. When all of these tools are streamlined into a single environment, the benefits to businesses and business people are numerous and significant.

To begin with, an integrated communications environment provides exceptional flexibility and enables business people to choose how they want to communicate at any particular time. This advanced technology architecture allows users to locate the person they are trying to reach and to determine whether that person would like to interact via telephone, video conferencing, e-mail or another method. In addition, unified communications systems also give users the ability to decide when they will be available to communicate with others. Thus, such a sophisticated and streamlined environment provides a high degree of choice and can be tailored to the preferences of individual users.

Integrated communications environments are also valuable components of solid business strategies as they can contribute significantly to increased productivity and savings of both time and money. By providing a simplified and straightforward interface and streamlining the delivery of all types of information, unified communications solutions minimize delays while maximizing interactivity. This allows for more direct and cost-effective connections between business people which, in turn, leads to enhanced effectiveness of communication and increased productivity. Since communicating and using resources effectively are vital components of any good business strategy, more and more companies are recognizing the importance of integrating multiple devices and applications into a single system.

Unified technology architectures also offer several benefits for mobile workers. Since mobile phones can be integrated into the unified environment, business people can work efficiently even when on the go. Unified communications allow for the use of a single number, routing calls to a preferred device or location. Furthermore, users can access a variety of different applications and carry out numerous different tasks while in transit, so time is never wasted unnecessarily. These characteristics also make it possible to keep mobile teams continuously up to speed without pulling them out of the field or requiring them to attend frequent meetings.

By making previously disparate devices compatible and by streamlining numerous applications into a single, comprehensive system, unified communications solutions offer businesses a multitude of benefits and advantages. From increased functionality and productivity to cost-effective and enhanced interaction, integrated communications environments have the ability to give companies a boost and move them to the next level of success. As such, it’s not difficult to understand why more and more businesses are including unified communications as an important part of business strategy.

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Healthcare Communications

Healthcare Communications is improving day by day. The agencies with almost dormant healthcare clients are also waking up to the fact that the pharmaceutical industry will gather momentum within a short time. Advertising agencies are projecting growth rates depending on the potential of their healthcare clients in the months to come.

At present, most of the healthcare business is limited to the fraternity of doctors but with the passage of time advertising agencies want to directly communicate with the consumers. In fact, most agencies are realizing that Healthcare Communications is a rather specialized arena where the average advertising agency professional is not likely to fit in. It is doctors and professionals with a pharmacy background who are expected to deliver specialized communication required for the pharmaceutical industry.

Emd healthcare communications inform the visitors about:

Information of new products
Meet your sales performance objectives
Educate providers and patients on a new therapy
Rollout a new health management initiative

We promise to handle the details of all your healthcare communications from concept to completion. Our proven and professional development process helps you to ensure the to the point, complete, and timely delivery of your message. We can also arrange and manage complete production services of your health-based site, including graphic design, print, programming, and audio and video production through our vendor relationships. Our services include:

Definition of project tasks and resource requirements
Project scheduling
Content development
Production management

With the wide access of the Internet in all spheres of life, web marketing is the perfect medium to promote medical practice and healthcare marketing and services. Because it is one of the most competitive industry markets on the web, some careful planning has to be done in the design process.

When executed properly, online healthcare communications can grow your profits, bring you patients who appreciate and can afford quality care and deliver the high-paying fulfilling cases.

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Mobile Communications Services

The world of mobile communications is not a trend, but a phenomenon. The mobile communication industry is one of the most flourishing sectors within the ICT industry. On the supply side, firms compete by offering different kinds of services typically through proprietary networks, in which they invest in terms of capacity and coverage. On the demand side, consumers are highly heterogeneous in terms of willingness to pay and modes of service usage.

The rapid uptake of mobile technology in the last decade is an outstanding phenomenon that has changed the society. Mobile subscriber growth continues with the emerging markets leading the way. While the industry is coping with a number of key issues, including the economic downturn, saturation of developed markets and spectrum concerns – it is still expected that in 2011 there will be over 5 billion mobile subscribers worldwide.

Some of the latest facts and figures:

�According to IDC, The mobile sector is now a $850 billion global market, comprising 57 percent of the global telecom market.
�The resilient mobile industry is growing despite the challenges and overall global mobile revenues are predicted to reach over $1 trillion around 2012. MVNO subscribers will account for around 2-3% of all mobile subscribers worldwide in 2010.
�China is the world’s largest mobile communications market. The Middle East contains some of the highest penetration rates in the world led by the UAE, which has passed the 200% mark. Growth rates remain astonishingly high in the light of these figures.
�Handset sales rebounded in Q4 2009, recording a positive growth of at least 10%..
�In 2010 there will be an estimated 3.5 billion prepaid subscribers worldwide with the majority of prepaid users residing in Asia Pacific. .
�Mobile market penetration in Africa is expected to pass 50% during 2010; at least seven countries have broken the 100% barrier.
�The wireless industry in North America continues to be one of the fastest growing markets in telecommunications, despite the economic downturn.
�The MVNO market has also witnessed a shift away from traditional business models as operators and new market entrants’ trial models based on niche markets including data services, music services, health services, luxury services and low price services (including the prepaid market).

Mobile communications services originated from voice telephony. However, the cellular phone market, when measured in terms of the number of wireless devices, is becoming saturated at a rather rapid pace. In short, there can be no significant increase in traffic merely through voice telephony. In view of this limitation, there appear to be two viable strategies to achieve growth in mobile communications: (i) implementation of new mobile services with an array of diverse multimedia applications, and (ii) the introduction of new wireless devices with enhanced features, including direct device-to-device communications capabilities.

The technologies which might bring new abilities to the mobile devices would be Near Field Communications (mPayments, mBanking) focusing on contactless payments, advertising, marketing. Mobile phone-based contactless payments will facilitate over $36 billion of worldwide consumer spending by 2011 .

Companies like Simage Technologies are one of the mobile communication service provider in Middle East and African region.

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