No one expects to be at the center of a PR disaster. But sometimes, no matter how hard you try, mistakes are made, and you become the center of a media firestorm. Everyone makes mistakes, but what you do in the aftermath can either minimize the damage or make matters worse.
The Crossroads Hotel, located in Newburgh, NY, recently found itself in such a situation. The hotel attracted a strong public backlash when it opted to receive a large group of migrants/refugees/illegals/asylum seekers announced by US Customs and Border Protection. Accusations of racism, xenophobia, and “dog-whistle politics” soon followed.
In a perfect world, this situation would have been avoided altogether. However, hindsight is 20/20 and the Crossroads Hotel now finds itself in need of a PR recovery. So how can they go about repairing their public image?
First, the hotel should conduct an internal review. This should involve a thorough investigation into the decision making process that led to the current situation. It may also be necessary to hire an outside consultant to advise on the crisis. During this process, it’s essential to remain transparent and open with the public about any issues that arise.
Once the internal review is complete, the hotel must communicate openly with the public. In a statement, the hotel should communicate their regret over the situation and outline the internal steps taken to rectify the issue. Additionally, they should reach out to the communities they serve and provide an opportunity for dialogue. This could include a public event, such as a town hall or forum.
The next step involves restoring trust with the public. This can be done by donating to local charities, engaging in grassroots campaigns, or joining forces with local organizations. These actions will help create positive associations with the hotel and help repair its public image.
Finally, it’s important to focus on the future. To rebuild trust, the hotel should demonstrate a commitment to diversity and acceptance. This could include actively recruiting minorities for job openings, catering to a more diverse range of customers, or instituting policies that promote acceptance.
No one wants to be involved in a PR disaster. But if it happens, it’s important to take the right steps to protect your business and restore your reputation. At the Crossroads Hotel, this should involve conducting an internal review, communicating openly with the public, taking measures to restore trust, and focusing on the future.