As the economy continues to open, the competition to capture the attention of travelers will intensify. “Instead of location, location, location, it is now perhaps cleanliness, sanitization, and security, or piece of mind,” Ray Burger, President of Pineapple Hospitality, told me this past week. The companies and hotels that best tell that story are going to put the most heads in beds.
One of the best ways to tell your story is to visually depict what changes you have made in operations by video. “If you want to have your market share, produce a video and put it on your website. Put it on continuous loop. Run it on your information channel,” Burger says. “Perception is reality. They need to be assured you are going the extra mile.” Run it in your lobby as well—where guests can most easily see it.
Interestingly, while most hotel companies have launched official COVID-19 hygiene and safety programs, only some have produced videos to explain these programs. I did not scan every hotel company or individual hotel website of course but here are four examples of videos that have been produced and what I found interesting/valuable about each one.
Marriott Includes Bill Marriott
Marriott rolled out its cleanliness program in April. Its video, describing its “Commitment to Clean,” is two minutes, three seconds long. The video begins by emphasizing Marriott’s long-standing commitment to taking care of its guests. Marriott says it is working to redefine its cleaning and safety standards. It gets specific about the new steps it has put in place—hand sanitizing stations at hotel entrances and other touch-point areas, for example. Other steps: signage, partitions at check-in, the use of disinfectants in guestrooms, the placement of disinfecting wipes in each room for guest use, the use of electrostatic sprayers, and mobile technology to reduce touch-point opportunities. The video concludes with Bill Marriott saying, “You’ve got my word on it.”
IHG’s video, at one minute and 42 seconds, explains what steps have been taken to enhance its Way of Clean program. It emphasizes partnerships with Ecolab, Diversey and the Cleveland Clinic to lend credibility to its efforts. The video mentions IHG’s emphasis on deep cleaning and disinfecting, social distancing, and shows some steps the company is exploring to reduce contact at front desks. Also shown in the video: the use of personal protective equipment, sanitizer stations and cleanliness amenity kits for guests. Unique in its video is mention of the assigning of clean champions at every hotel. The video wraps up with mention of IHG’s Clean Promise. Launching this week, with Clean Promise IHG says guests can be reassured that their room will meet IHG’s high standards of cleanliness. If not, the hotel will make it right.
On its website, Drury Hotels has posted a video that is two minutes, 23 seconds long. It leads off with Eric Strand, COO, explaining a bit of Drury Hotels’ history and its commitment to not franchising but being a family owned business. HiYon Cox, Regional Manager, then explains some of the specific steps the company is taking to ensure cleanliness and employee and guest safety. Some of these steps include: the screening of employees to make sure they are symptom free, the providing of proper employee training, the placement of signs and visual cues to encourage social distancing, and repeat cleaning of frequent touch-points such as door handles and elevator buttons. Lindsey DeHaan, a General Manager at a Drury property, continues with additional steps each hotel has taken: the continuation of a free hot breakfast with an employee dishing out the food behind protective shields, for example. Eric Strand wraps up the video by emphasizing the company’s commitment and by thanking folks for choosing Drury Hotels.
Impressive Palace Resorts Video
Palace Resorts’ video, at five minutes in length, is perhaps the most polished video I have seen. The video focuses on the company’s new program, Purely Palace. The company says more than 140 preventive actions have been put in place. Employees are shown implementing some of those. Unique at the company is a sanitizing tunnel that employees go through prior to working. A spray sanitizes the uniform. A footwear sanitizing also takes place. Team member face masks are replaced every four hours. Each guest is asked to sign a declaration of health. Luggage is disinfected after arrival. Housekeepers wear face shields. All mattresses are steamed. Guests receive a personal hygiene kit. At shows, families are seated two seats apart. Each team member is required to wash their hands every 30 minutes. All products delivered to the resort are disinfected.
No company appears to be taking the exact same steps as another. By watching other companies’ videos, you are sure to pick up some tips—both for your operations and for a video you should produce. In your video you will certainly want to highlight the basics but also point out what makes your property unique in its cleanliness and safety efforts. Use your company’s executives in it but also include others such as general managers and housekeeping managers. Show that what you are doing demonstrates caring for both employees and guests. And, if you can, talk about how what you are doing blends in with your corporate social responsibility efforts.
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