In 2014, the Global Security department of an international hotel brand with 843 locations needed to assess, consolidate, and rebuild all emergency response and crisis management materials. The goal of the project was to create a comprehensive, multi-volume library of materials for an audience that included all General Managers, Security Managers, and all line and hotel staff.
Throughout the history of the company, materials had been created in a variety of channels, styles, and standards. Guidance contained in various materials did not function together for a holistic view of emergency and crisis response, and in some cases different materials gave conflicting guidance. A gap analysis of all guidance revealed shortcomings in protocols and opportunities to revisit security standards documentation and security protocols to meet updated International Hotel and Restaurant Association guidelines, as well as a need for updated emergency response guidance.
- The need to secure and manage an incident that may impact public areas of the hotel such as restaurants, lobbies, and street-facing exterior areas. All materials needed to include guidance around public/private partnerships enacted during an emergency event.
- All materials required translation into 23 different languages.
After the initial assessment, the project team determined that materials should be organized into a complete library:
- Emergency guidance created around specific playbooks for Weather, Medical/Mass Casualty, Fire, Pandemic, Active Shooter/Threat Response, and Human Trafficking.
- Physical Security Standards, Security Protocols, Event Security, and VIP Security
- Communications Plan, Notification Scripts, and Activation Guidance
- Crisis Management Guidance for Hotel Leadership
- Training Program for Hotel Staff
- App with key guidance and checklists
All materials were developed utilizing a content management system, which allowed for efficient development, consistent look and feel, cross-utilization of topics within different guides, program-based translation services, and output to Word, PDF, and HTML for various publication channels.
- Working closely with a steering committee allowed the selected hotel Security Managers and General Managers to create a wide body of operationally accurate and useful guidance. When completed, all materials reflected world-class standards applicable both domestically and internationally.
- Utilization of a cross-functional project team made up of subject matter experts paired with technical writers and UX designers, resulted in tightly written materials with high operational accuracy.
After program release and implementation, several events occurred that directly required utilization of program materials:
- Severe winter weather in Atlanta created a need for multiple hotel properties to prepare and shelter guests and members of the public who were stranded.
- A bombing in Bangkok, Thailand occurred within a short distance of one of the hotel’s premier properties. Hotel staff utilized the Medical and Mass Casualty Response Playbook to triage and provide medical care to wounded people who sought shelter in the hotel.
- The bombing at the Bataclan Theatre in Paris required the hotel to utilize new security protocols in a state of heightened alert.
These are only a few of the highlights of the materials in use to support actual incidents. All materials are maintained on an ongoing basis and receive a twice-yearly review and update.