One of your most critical jobs as a destination marketer is to collaborate with your stakeholders. Many destinations are in some form of lockdown, and the economic and humanitarian ramifications of the COVID-19 crisis are still unfolding, which led one Virtual Forum participant to ask a pertinent question:
“How do we [DMOs] successfully engage boards and stakeholders in planning when their worlds are falling apart?”
Destination Think CEO Rodney Payne and Chief Strategist William Bakker responded to this question during Day 1 of Virtual Forum on April 7, 2020.
Here are some key takeaways from Rodney:
- It seems that many destinations have not yet reached the peak of their health crises, which means that things may get worse before they get better.
- The dynamic situation is challenging for boards and stakeholders. Some don’t know where to turn or which sources of information to trust.
- Part of your DMO’s role is to constantly keep the board informed.
- Consider these questions about distributing information:
- How can you distill regular updates from the information you’re seeing?
- How will you conduct future planning? And how will you get board or stakeholder input with this process?
- How can you share what businesses are doing to address immediate problems and help their community?
- We’re all on an emotional rollercoaster. Much of our team’s work with DMOs engages stakeholders and residents. We’ve paused some of this for obvious reasons.
- There will be a time to re-engage, and it may come sooner rather than later. It will be important to anticipate different scenarios.
- Be ready to look to the future and engage stakeholders in this planning. It will give them a much-needed sense of optimism and control.
These are times of great uncertainty, but we at Destination Think are united in our desire to get through this together.
Join our COVID-19 support network to access tools and guidance designed for destination marketing professionals.
Feature image credit: Jon Eric Marababol, Unsplash