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Crisis Management Plan

Part 1

Sara Shumway
Danielle Naccarato
Tommy Tambourine
Kelly Larson
Chad Healy
Martha Reese

Table of Contents
Introduction .................................................................................................. 2
Crisis Team Mission ....................................................................................... 3
Potential Crises List ..................................................................................

The Marriott Crisis Management Team ......................................................

Key Publics and Stakeholders ....................................................................

Crisis Preparation and Prevention .............................................................. 7

Media Audit ............................................................................................... 8
Social Media Strategy ................................................................................ 9
Potential Experts and Support



Immediate Response Checklist ............................................................. 11 - 12

Communication Channels Worksheet ...................................................... 13
Key Messages Worksheet
Press Release Template

.................................................................... 14
...................................................................... 15

Marriott Incorporated Information

Media Log Sheet


........................................................ 16

................................................................................ 17


Procedure for Testing Crisis Management Plan ........................................... 19



Marriott International, Inc. is a leading hospitality company with more than
3,900 properties, 18 brands, and associates at our headquarters, managed and
franchised properties around the world. Founded by J. Willard and Alice Marriott
and guided by Marriott family leadership for more than 80 years, the company is
headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and reported revenues of nearly $13
billion in fiscal year 2013.


Crisis Team Mission Statement

The mission of the Marriott Crisis Management Team is to provide employees
and stakeholders detailed information and specific guidelines in regards to response
and recovery in the event of any crises or other unplanned interruptions.

Purpose of the Crisis Management Plan

The purpose of this plan is not only to help in dealing with a crisis or interruption
but also to help prevent any potential crises that may occur. It is set in place to focus
on prevention, awareness, and planning to keep the foundation of Marriott and our
supporters and stakeholders strong. At Marriott, we strive to put people first, pursue
excellence, embrace change, act with integrity, and serve the world and we believe
that this plan will help us achieve these goals.


Possible Crises (Likely and Severe)

Below is a list comprised of possible crisis scenarios that Marriott International hotels
can and may encounter.
Crisis Categories and Likely Scenarios:

Natural Disasters

Taking cover during a tornado


Negative Tripadvisor and Yelp reviews

Technical-error accidents

Power outage

Shipping errors causing shortages of food/drink for restaurant


Guests complain about services or cleanliness

Inappropriate social media posts by partners

Guests partaking in illegal activities in room (e.g. drugs, prostitution, etc.)

Human-error accidents

Guest or employee injured on property

Workplace violence

Issues of discrimination (race, gender, sexuality, etc.)

Unlikely but highly impactful crises a Marriott property might face:

Workplace violence

Employee shooting or other gun related incident

Human-error product harm

Food borne illnesses


Bomb threat or terrorist act

Organizational misdeeds

Releasing security footage or guest information to the media

Employees publicly going against Marriotts values


Marriott Crisis Management Team

Crisis Communication Manager, Sara Shumway

As Crisis Communication Manager, Sara Shumway is responsible in leading the crisis

management team in all key decision made during a crisis. Shumway oversees the
teams work during a crisis and is responsible for deciding when the crisis is resolved.

Media Relations Liaison, Kelly Larson

As the Media Relations Liaison, Kelly Larson is responsible for organizing press
conferences, sending out media releases and fact-checking all information that goes
out to the public. Larson also helps prepare Spokesperson, Danielle Naccarato for all
interviews and statements made on the crisis.

Spokesperson, Danielle Naccarato

As Spokesperson, Danielle Naccarato is responsible for being the voice of the crisis
management team and company. Naccarato has been trained to face the public in
any given situation and provide all accurate information to the public when necessary.

Financial Representative, Chad Healy

As Financial Representative, Chad Healy is responsible for overseeing all finances

while handling a crisis. Healy keeps close contact with the finance department.

Legal Representative, Tommy Tambourine

As Legal Representative, Tommy Tambourine is responsible for ensuring all decisions

made during the crisis as lawful. Tambourine also keeps close tabs on making sure
the employees and gatekeepers rights are being honored.

Crisis Communication Administrator, Martha Reese

As Crisis Communication Administrator, Martha Reese is responsible for organizing

all documents/paperwork during a crisis. Reese is the main contact of the Crisis
Management Team.


Key Publics/Stakeholders
Board of Directors
Marriott Subsidaries
Stores/Groups associated with Marriott
Community Members
Government associations involved with Marriott
Surrounding communities
Board members
Executive committees
Advocacy groups involved with Marriott
In a time of Crisis, Marriott vows to communicate necessary information to all key
publics and stakeholders.
We vow to uphold Marriotts key values while informing stakeholders and key
Marriott will notify all stakeholders and key publics in a timely matter in the event
of a crisis.
The Crisis Management Team will notify all internal parts of Marriott in order to
ensure that the right steps are taken place.
All information that goes out to key publics and stakeholders will be presented at
the most appropriate time and will be given necessary answers to all questions
and concerns.

Plan for Crisis Preparation and Prevention

In order to properly prepare for potential crisis Marriott has determined several
possible solutions to potential crisis in order to act on them promptly if something
threatening were to happen.
The team will conduct environmental scans utilizing social media, traditional
media, ect. for potential threats posed against Marriott.
Issues will be managed as if they pose an impeccable threat to the company right
Potential risks will be monitored closely.
Maintain a strong relationship with stakeholders built on trust in order to keep a
positive reputation.
Act on potential crisis right away.
Maintain strong internal communication.
Train spokespeople for the company properly.
Maintain financial responsibility.


Media Audit
Likely outlets and contacts:






























































news@marriottmove.com 212-301-2512






Social Media Strategy

Marriott will use social media to connect with its customers during a crisis.
Our social media team will consist of highly skilled and trained individuals.
The various social media channels will include:
- Facebook
- Twitter
- YouTube
The social media team will briefly meet before an initial statement is put online. This
will ensure a unified message and strategy for the specific crisis. Consistency is the
main factor. Every team member will understand what message they are putting out,
who is responsible for what, and when/how content should be posted. The following are
guidelines to be discussed at the initial meeting:
All messages will be consistent and systematic. All posts will be checked before
being posted and scheduled by the social media manager.
The crisis team will NOT respond to each individuals comments through the
comments section on Facebook. They will address the issue by posting one or two general
posts on Marriotts wall.

No messages should be deleted.

Social media will not be posted after 7 p.m. EST, unless deemed necessary by the
social media manager.
All social media posts will continue as they normally do. It is important that we
start new conversations and not dwell on the crisis.


Third Party Supports and Potential Supporters





Cheryl Conner

Forbes Writer

Conner has written

positively about Marriott
in the past.


Dr. Scott Smith

professor in
the department
of Hotel,
Restaurant and
Tourism at the
University of
South Carolina.

Smith is extremely
knowledgeable with
hotel management and
has conducted several
reputable studies on
pricing and revenue
management in the
hospitality industry.


Marcelo Claure

President of

Sprint has worked

with Marriott by giving
Marriott employees
discounts on Sprint


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Immediate Response Checklist

This checklist provides an outline of procedures that the Marriott staff and crisis
management team will handle during the time of a crisis.

Step OneFirst Alert

Alert Director of Marketing & Communications.

Inform customer service to direct all media calls to Marketing & Communications.

Assess situation and level of impact.

Decide to issue a written statement or to hold a press briefing.

If necessary, decide location for press briefing.

Alert customer service and media to time and location of press briefing.

Step TwoGet the Facts

Gather known facts.

Verify nature and scope of incident with police or responding emergency agencies.

Determine if injuries and/or fatalities (do not release names).

Assess public health risk (if any).

Determine what authorities must/should be consulted.

Consult immediately with responding agencies to coordinate release of information.

Begin to craft message for release to media, use key messages worksheet.

Begin to plan to inform internal, stakeholder audiences.

Step ThreeVerify and Keep the Information Moving

Time code all information as it arrives.

Verify all facts before releasing.

Keep appropriate senior officials up-to-date.

Keep in consultation with appropriate government and legal authorities.

Begin plan to inform internal, stakeholder audiences.

(Continued on next page)

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Immediate Response Checklist (Cont.)

Step FourPrepare for Media (Calls and Visits)

Start media contact record.

Brief and rehearse designated media spokesperson. Go through the information
media will want. List and rehearse what verified information will be made available.

Discuss media inquiry strategy.

Activate pre-arranged media room/area (on or off site).

Get approval for media statement (as handout or release).

Designate officials who will read statements or speak during press briefing.

Review guidelines for dealing with the media with each person.

Step FiveWhen Reporters Arrive

Ask media for identification and to sign in.

Inform reporters of restrictions on movement/photography/filming.

Proceed with briefing.

Advise media of time and place of next and future updates.

Follow-up on additional media inquiries.

Step SixMedia Follow-up & On-going Media Relations

Monitor media coverage.

Assess and correct factual errors.

Advise media of any significant new developments.

Log all media contact.

Evaluate effectiveness of plan and revise as necessary.

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Communication Channels Worksheet

In case of a crisis, the following communication channels will be used to inform stakeholders
of the situation.

Board of Directors

Email, phone call, video conference, face-to face


Email, press conference, Marriott news center


Email, face-to-face, press conference

Marriot Subsidiaries

Email, internal memo, video conference

Email, internal memo, video conference


Social media, Marriott website, Marriott news center, newspapers, television


Email, phone call

Stores, Groups associated with Marriot

Email, Marriott news center

Competitors: Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc., ACCOR, InterContinental

Hotels Group PLC.
Social media, Marriott website, Marriott news center, newspapers, television

Community Members

Social media, Marriott website, Marriott news center, newspapers, television

Government organizations associated with Marriott: OSHA, GSA, etc.

Media liaison, email


Media liaison, email, phone call, Marriott news center, press conference

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Key Messages Worksheet

Scenario: General crisis outline
Stakeholder: Hotel guests/employees/franchisees
Concern: Marriott public image
Key Message 1
Marriott offers its
deepest apologies to
our stakeholders, and
anyone who is affected
by the crisis.

Key Message 2

Key Message 3

Marriott has outlined

plans for new franchise
owner policies

We value our customers

more than anything
else, and will continue to
provide patrons with the
best possible experience.

Support Point 1.1

Support Point 2.1

Support Point 3.1

Working on new
techniques to ensure
customer safety.

Revise franchise owner


Open lines of
communications so
customers can contact us
and provide feedback.

Support Point 1.2

Support Point 2.2

Support Point 3.2

Promise to correct our

mistakes to ensure the
best experience that
everyone can enjoy.

Revise franchisee
selection process.

Continue to bring
customers the best
hotel experience.

Support Point 1.3

Support Point 2.3

Support Point 3.3

Will continue to update

policies as needed.

We would like to thank

all of our stakeholders
for supporting us
through this crisis.

Creating strategies
to ensure company
efficiency for current and
future stakeholders.

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[Date] Contact: Danielle Naccarato


Phone: (630) 398-7046

Email: dnaccar@marriott.com

Crisis Response Press Release Template

DATELINE Summary lead that addresses the problem at hand and provides enough
information for stakeholders who may not be aware of the crisis yet.

Expression of empathy or concern as needed. Reassure stakeholders of

Marriotts continued maintenance and investment. If necessary, the use of concern or

empathy may come before the summary lead (depending on the status of the crisis).

Address and state the news elements of the situation, such as, who, what,

when, where, why and how the crisis occurred (if applicable). Who is this affecting?
What has occurred? When did it happen and where? Why does it matter? How did it

Restate the key messages and points of support. The key messages should

include a description of how Marriott is addressing and resolving the situation. Include
two to three key messages with support for each.

- Quote from spokesperson, if appropriate. This can tie into the key messages

and support.

- Marriott International promotes the recruitment, retention, and advancement

of diverse employees and actively engages in efforts to develop a diverse owner, guest
and supplier base.

- Contact Danielle Naccarato at (630) 398-7046 or visit our website www.


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Company Profile

Marriott International, established in 1927, is one of the worlds leaders in luxury
lodging. The headquarters is located in Bethesda, Maryland. Marriott currently owns
over 3,200 properties spanning across 64 different countries.

Year in and year out, Marriott is recognized as a top employer, notably mentioned
for its strong business ethic. Our number one goal within the company is diversity.
Marriott currently employs over 146,000 people from dozens of different nations who
cumulatively speak over 50 different languages. As far as our U.S. employees go, 61
percent are minorities and 55 percent are women. We strongly believe in being an
equal opportunity employer and offering opportunity to everyone.

We also offer numerous different professional development programs which give
our employees the opportunity to branch out and open up a long term career with
Marriott. A large majority of our managers began their careers in hourly positions
with Marriott. Here at Marriott, we work hard to touch on and improve the lives of the
people in our communities. We support numerous different professional organizations
such as Goodwill Industries, Hispanic Corporate Council, NAACP, National Association
of Black Accountants, National Black MBA Association, National Council of La Raza,
National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, National Hispanic Corporate Council,
and the National Minority Supplier Development Council.

Marriott International also franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership
resorts under 18 different brands. Marriott brought in a total of 13 billion in revenue in

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Media Log Sheet

Date of crisis situation:
Message for:
Date/Time of call:
Phone Number(s):
Media Outlet/Name:
Return call deadline:
Summary of inquiry:

Name of inquiry responder:

Summary of response:

Further action needed?:

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Crisis Team Contact Information





Sara Shumway


(309) 840-0670


Kelly Larson

Media Relations

(630) 956-8586


Danielle Naccarato


(630) 398-7046


Tommy Tambourine


(847) 224-9068


Chad Healy


(630) 344-3838


Martha Reese


(630) 867-5309


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Procedure for Testing Crisis Management Plan

This procedure will be tested semiannually through each Marriott hotel. All
employees should be familiar with the plan in the event of a crisis. All employees should
know where the crisis management plan is located and how to apply it to each proposed
crisis situation.

Crisis drills should be applied semiannually, when Marriott employees are required
to respond to an artificial crisis. Worksheets should be filled out as if this was a real
crisis. This will ensure that employees are well rehearsed in the event of a crisis.

In order to provide a positive improvement for the Crisis Management Team and
its procedures a post-crisis evaluation will be conducted. This evaluation will allow the
Crisis Management Team to analyze the effectiveness of its communication internally
and externally.

All staff, consumers, colleagues and others affected by the crisis will fill out the
evaluation form so that Marriott can continue to provide outstanding service in the

Questions on the evaluation form may include but are not limited to:
- How did the crisis affect you?
- What role did you have in the crisis?
- How was the crisis communicated to you?
- What should have been done differently in the crisis?
- How was the crisis procedure utilized?
- What was the most effective about the Crisis Management Plan?
- What areas provided the most difficulty when using the plan?
- What are your suggestions to better improve the plan?

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Part 2
Applying the plan to the crisis

Marriott International operates multiple hotel chains, developed mostly

on a franchise basis with local real estate developers. Those developers
then independently manage the hotels locally, following the guidelines
set forth by Marriott in their franchise agreements.
One of these developers, John McMannon, operates 12 Marriott
brand hotels in the San Francisco area. In a radio interview with an
entrepreneurship show, he mentions his support for the 2008 campaign
for Proposition 8, a proposition that enforced a state constitutional ban
on same-sex marriage. While this is nearly 7 years later, the fact that
he had financially supported the campaign was new information. San
Francisco is a very liberal and open-minded city, and this information
spreads like wildfire via social media. Protesters soon show up at
multiple hotels owned by McMannon, and the Marriott brand is featured
heavily in the resulting news coverage.
Then, a few days later, the social media activity turns against Marriott
International for doing business with this developer. The hashtag
#hotelhate starts to trend, and it is attached to tweets and grams
related to protesting Marriott International.
You are the public relations team for Marriott International, and you
are getting multiple media requests for comment as a result of this, in
addition to the social media protest. What to do?

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Crisis Type

Marriott faces organizational misdeeds and victimage with this crisis.

Organizational misdeeds occur when management takes actions that may place
stakeholders at risk or create various violations. The Marriott issues franchisee
agreements with guidelines but failed to address that franchisees need to be
careful with what they say that could negatively affect the Marriott brand. Marriott
committed a misdeed by not creating a code of ethics/conduct for franchisees
and how they should go about their beliefs on controversial topics. Stakeholders
at risk with this crisis include employees and customers who may be homosexual
or any potential stakeholder who supports same sex marriage, the surrounding
communities in San Francisco, which are very liberal, and advocacy groups tied to
the Marriott with strong views on sexuality equality.

Victim Cluster

As far as the victim cluster tied to this crisis, it would be the preventable
cluster. The preventable cluster includes human-error accidents, human-error
product harm and organizational misdeeds. There are strong attributions that
come with crisis responsibility for this cluster as well. The organizational misdeeds
explained prior led to the crisis and it could have been easily prevented. The crisis
irresponsibility in this case damages Marriotts reputation because it has created
irrelevant views of the company. The reputation has also received a beating on
social media that does not make the company look good.

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Crisis Response Strategy

In regards to McMannons financial support of proposition eight back in
2008, Marriott International will be responding to this crisis in the form of a nonapology. After a long debate on how to effectively address this scenario, the Crisis
Management Team at Marriott International came to the agreement that a nonapology was the best way to try and reverse the damage that has been done to the
stakeholders. A non-apology mimics an apology but does not take responsibility
for the crisis. A non-apology usually expresses regret about the crisis its self or
sympathy for the people who were affected by the crisis.

The main reason we chose to take the general apology route is because
of the high level of crisis responsibility associated with this type of crisis. As
mentioned earlier, the fact that this crisis was an organizational misdeed puts a
lot of responsibility on Marriott International because this is something that was
preventable. More specifically, we decided that a non-apology was the best route
because this crisis was integrity based. If we were to apologize for the actions of
McMannon, it would ultimately prove a lack of integrity and risk further damage
to our reputation. Apologizing would also mean that we have fully accepted
responsibility for this crisis and that could intensify negative emotions amongst
our stakeholders.

In order to carry this out, Marriott International will upload a video on Youtube
in which our Spokesperson will apologize for any offense taken by McMannons
actions. Marriott International will also be posting non-apology updates on all of
its social media feeds. We hope that these actions will help prove the integrity we
hold dear to our company and its stakeholders.

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Marriott International, Inc.

10400 Fernwood Road
Bethesda, Maryland 20817-1102
Thursday, April 30, 2015

Contact Name: Danielle Naccarato


Contact Phone: (630) 398-7046

Email: dnaccar@Marriott.com
Marriott International to Reinforce Company Values
BETHESDA, MD It has come to the attention of Marriott International that our
continuing company core values have not been accurately represented. Recently one
of our franchise developers has expressed to the media his previous involvement with
financially supporting a campaign to ban same-sex marriage.

By being aware of this new information, Marriott International would wish to

emphasize to the public that this is not something we stand by and encourage at any
extent. Our company is dedicated to our business conduct, our employee policies and
our supply chain policies. Above all, we want to assure our stakeholders that Marriott will
have no leniency towards a misrepresentation of our core values.

This occurrence involving an independent franchisee who does not share the same

core values of Marriott International. In a radio interview with an entrepreneurship show,

he mentioned his previous financial support for the 2008 campaign for Proposition 8, a
proposition that enforced a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

As stated prior, this type of behavior is a violation of Marriotts policies and an

inaccurate depiction of our company. Marriott apologizes for any offense taken by theis
franchisees actions and will continue to cooperate fully with further questions and

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Arne M. Sorenson; CEO of Marriott International:

Since 1927, Marriott has valued diversity and inclusion. Embracing differences is part
of the way we do business around the world and essential to our success as a leading
hospitality company. Diversity is closely tied to our core values and our strategic
business goals, so it is embedded into every facet of our business. Marriott promotes
the recruitment, retention, and advancement of diverse employees and actively engages
in efforts to develop a diverse owner, guest and supplier base. Marriott will stand
by our beliefs by continuing to create opportunities and value differences within our

For more information, contact:

Danielle Naccarato at (630) 398-7046 or visit our website www.marriott.com.


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Key Messages

Marriott Hotels has refocused their franchisee policies after a franchisee
pubicly supported a bill that goes against Marriotts values.

We deeply apologize to our guests, stakeholders, and anyone who may
have taken offense to this individuals decisions.

We value our guests more than anything else, and we wish to continue
to provide guests with the best home away from home experience.

We value the continued customer loyalty even after the crisis created
by a former Marriott franchisee. Thank you to all for the support of the

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Social Media Strategy


The crisis management team should be consistently monitoring
social media channels that have posts about Marriott; including any post
that includes Marriotts name. The team should keep track and record
these mentions.

The crisis management team should analyze these social media
posts and examine what is being mentioned, including all comments,
concerns, or questions regarding Marriott.The crisis management team
should look for repeating patterns in these mentions and look for an
existing theme among the posts.

The crisis management team member(s) who are managing the
social media channels should acknowledge the overall concerns of the
posts or mentions about Marriott through which the channels they are
coming from. These members should release a statement recognizing
these issues and ensure the public that something is being done and
timely updates will be released. A link to Marriotts press release will be
posted on Facebook and Twitter, as well as Marriotts website.

The crisis management team member(s) who are managing
the social media channels should make sure the publics are aware
McMannons personal views do not represent the views of the company
as a whole. Be transparent, honest and open with all responses - always
provide correct information.

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