Episode 171: Proactive Steps for DMOs Facing Coronavirus, with Nicole Mahoney


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By Nicole Mahoney. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

With a talent for creating special events that blossomed while working for my dad’s car stereo shop, I got my start in marketing at Frontier Field in Rochester and I began serving as the executive director of the internationally known Lilac Festival. Later on, I headed the Canandaigua, New York Business Improvement District while also performing projects for the tourism promotion agency Visit Rochester.

In 2009, I founded Break the Ice Media, with more than 20 years of experience in tourism marketing. I now host “Destination on the Left”, a highly successful tourism marketing podcast.

As a business owner, I know what it takes to be successful. I founded BTI to help businesses tell their brand story through public relations, digital and traditional channels. I have the ability to uncover unique marketing opportunities and develop marketing and public relations initiatives that help clients build long-term success.

In this solocast episode of Destination on the Left, I lay out some of the frameworks and strategies that have helped BTI maintain its composure as we respond to the initial fallout of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • BTI’s initial thoughts on the Coronavirus Pandemic
  • How the Coronavirus Pandemic is impacting the travel and tourism industry
  • Steps that DMOs and other small businesses can take in response to the pandemic
  • Four Strategies to help us maintain our composure during a time of crisis
  • The 3 C’s of Collaboration Framework and how to apply it
  • Why collaboration is critical for DMOs, especially in a time of crisis
  • Some of the key ideas from my new blog post
Collaboration in a Time of Crisis

Right now, the Coronavirus Pandemic has the global economy in total lockdown. It is unclear how long it will last, and the unprecedented nature of this virus and the uncertainty surrounding it is raising concern for the future of our industries. But so many of us have been in this position before. When 9/11 took place, and the great recession of 2008 shook the United States economy, the travel and tourism industry bounced back stronger than ever. It is not about prevention anymore; this global pandemic is already taking place. It is about how we react to it, so I put together some of the frameworks and strategies that have helped BTI maintain its composure as this series of disruptive events unfolds.

Four Strategies for Responding to the Coronavirus Chaos

Last week, I traveled from Rochester, NY to Savannah, GA in an effort to keep the BTI cog turning and do my part to drive business. However, it didn’t take long to realize that the economic impact of the pandemic stretched well beyond the scope of one country, let alone one industry. It inspired my most recent blog post, where I outline four strategies for responding to the initial shockwave of pandemonium: One, Stay calm. Two, get educated about the situation and stay up to date on the latest developments through reliable sources and your industry associations. Three, prepare to pivot by doing scenario planning. And four, communicate. We cannot stop the spread of COVID-19, but we can survive the fallout if we proactively manage our mindset and collaborate with others in our industry.

A Holistic Approach to Collaboration

Since the beginning of the Destination on the Left, we have talked a lot about collaboration and co-opetition in particular. I believe that, in the complex world of the present-day tourism industry, committing to a holistic approach to collaboration will bring strong market growth and abundance for everyone. The 3 C’s of Collaboration Framework is a system that helps us band together in a time of crisis. First, communication is essential to maintain clarity with your partners and prospects, and it is an opportunity to be a calming voice amidst the uncertainty and chaos. Next, commonality is about identifying common goals and operating with the greater good at heart. And finally, commitment means sticking with your collaborative efforts no matter how tough the going gets because when we bounce back, we bounce back together. Visit the new blog to learn more.


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