Many venues around the country are beginning to reopen after months of shelter-in-place and quarantine orders. Attractions may be wondering how best to communicate their reopening plans. How venues communicate to the public and employees is vital. Leaders must be proactive and strategic in their communications, to ensure the health, safety, and peace of mind of their guests and employees.
In this article, we share 4 tips to help attractions build successful reopening communication plans for your theme parks and attractions.
Tip 1: Draft Consistent Internal and External Reopening Communications
When creating your communication plans, think about creating an internal one for your employees, and an external one for your guests. While the message should be consistent in both, you will have different information and specifics to share in each. Consider sending out communication from your venue’s CEO, as it sets a tone that helps you continue building trust, peace of mind, and loyalty.
In your reopening communications, make sure your guests and employees are aware of the new guidelines before they enter your park. Maybe, new requirements are that face masks must be worn at all times, decreased attraction and ride occupancy, and increased sanitation measures that affect both guests and employees.
It is important to set clear expectations upfront so that no one is surprised when it comes time to reopen. As you begin to reopen, build off existing health and safety measures you've already taken, and explain new changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tip 2: There’s No Such Thing as Too Much Communication
During these times, there is no such thing as over-communicating or being too proactive. It is important you do everything you can to stay connected with your guests and employees. Share reopening plans and updates whenever and wherever you can. Consider updating your website with new guidelines, write blog posts with helpful and relevant information, and perhaps most importantly, share your venue’s changes with videos and photos on social media. You may also want to try a PR campaign. Simply put, there's no limit to your touch-points or channels right now.
Tip 3: Communicate with EmpathyAs an attraction, your guest and employee experience is your most important asset. Focus on the ways you can redefine and enhance the guest experience. Here are some examples of ways you can provide peace of mind and reassurance through your communication:
- Reach out to VIP and loyal guests in a personal way to show appreciation for them, reassure them, and offer answers to any questions they may have.
- Reach out to your employees in a similar way. It’s important to be sure they are taking the same precautions as guests. In addition to retraining them on new guidelines, also let them know that their safety and health is your number one priority. Don’t forget to show appreciation and provide them with newfound purpose.
- Bring together your front-line staff and solicit their feedback on your reopening guidelines and procedures. Be willing to listen to their concerns and give them a channel to express them.
When you communicate with empathy, you're building trust and confidence in your most important stakeholders. You're also giving them something to look forward to when you reopen.
Tip 4: Brand Safety Measures You’re Implementing
Consider branding the changes that you make in your post-COVID-19 reopening plans. Putting branding efforts around this is an effective marketing tactic and will help you remain top of mind for your guests. Not only does it assure guests that you are doing everything you can to protect them, but it also gives your employees a renewed purpose. You want to communicate to them that their everyday actions are contributing to the bigger picture and making an impact.
An example of a company branding safety measures in their reopening plans is Hilton's "CleanStay" program. Hilton is promoting its dedication to cleanliness and disinfection, while at the same time, associating its brand with new cleaning procedures. This type of marketing campaign will help your employees and guests more easily associate your company with the steps you're taking to reduce health risks due to COVID-19.
Even if you decide not to reopen in the near future, you can still get creative around your marketing efforts. Another company that has wrapped new branding and marketing campaigns around its safety measures is Uber. They launched a #MoveWhatMatters campaign to urge the general public to stay home while drivers, restaurants, and couriers focus on “moving what matters,” i.e. healthcare first responders, seniors, and those in need.
Implementing Your ReopeningIt's important to be proactive and strategic as you think about reopening your attraction and drafting up communications. It is vital to assure your guests and employees that your venue is doing everything it can to keep them safe during these uncertain times.
You can count on PDC’s innovative identification solutions for safe guest management as you being to reopen your attractions. Please let us know how we can help.