communications strategy

In March 2020, our client with 50+ hotel properties across the country was facing an imploding market due to COVID-19. Bookings were cancelled. Budgets were slashed. Rules were different, not only from state to state but city to city. And stressed-out teams were trying to figure everything out on the fly.

We sprang into action, creating a multi-channel, multi-phased messaging plan in just three days. Our goal was to support an authentic customer experience that was respectful of the rollercoaster of emotions we were riding together and responsive to a constantly evolving situation. Rather than bury this timely information in a PPT, we created a microsite for teams to access on the go. Our proactive plan served as the foundation for our client’s larger COVID-19 marketing and communications response.

Agency: HMA
My role: Experience direction, messaging strategy, research, copy, client management

each phase of the plan included

  • Messaging guidelines (voice and visual recommendations)
  • Fully conceived creative examples across email, web, banner ads, social media, and direct mail
  • Target audience recommendations

putting the plan into action

As we developed the communications plan, we anticipated that a few months into the pandemic people would be anxious to get away for a few days, but they’d be uncomfortable traveling by air or more than a couple of hours from home. We predicted they would long for the simple vacations of their childhoods, AKA the classic summer road trip with close family.

We were right. In June of 2020, we developed the Road Trip Campaign, which included emails, banner ads, social media, and blog content. The campaign’s nostalgic messaging and imagery resonated, and this portfolio-wide campaign delivered for our client, beating numbers from the previous eight (non-pandemic) quarters.

$7.3 million in total revenue | 33,000 room nights booked