Adrian Awards 2020
Situational Analysis: Please provide a brief background on the initiative and the nature of the issue you were trying to impact.
Having already deployed multiple crisis communications tactics to address the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on travel and tourism, Meet Minneapolis found itself dealing with a crisis-within-a-crisis after the death of George Floyd. Floyd’s death was seen, on video, around the world. Subsequently four, former Minneapolis police officers were charged. All of this sparked outrage and demonstrations for equality and social justice. Minneapolis became the epicenter of a movement that spread across the United States and the world, culminating in the largest demonstrations for racial equality in more than 50 years. Reeling from the devastation the pandemic has had on the tourism and hospitality industry, Meet Minneapolis urgently needed to develop and execute a whole new crisis communication strategy. As protestors took to the streets, images of burning buildings were broadcast around the world, Meet Minneapolis needed to clearly communicate support for the community in the days following Floyd’s death and continue to build community connections and create lasting change in Minneapolis.
Goals: Clearly state your goals. What did you strive to achieve with this initiative?
Our crisis comms goals following the death of George Floyd were: • Provide timely & accurate information to our key internal stakeholders. • Assist the City of Minneapolis with its mobilized crisis communications center • Utilize all Meet Minneapolis platforms to rapidly publish clear statements of support for the community • Communicate critical information to media, travel & event planners in search of reliable info on the evolving situation. Meet Minneapolis quickly initiate our communications cascade to reach multiple audiences. This structure begins with the internal Meet Minneapolis team before extending to the board, local partners and stakeholders (including the City of Minneapolis), and others within and outside of the city. We sought to quickly activate existing community partnerships fostered over the course of several years, while identifying new communications structures necessary to properly support the evolving communications needs for this specific crisis. In the immediate aftermath of Floyd’s killing, we identified the need to share a direct and clear statement of community support on our website and to our meeting planner community via email. As the initial communications were drafted, our team then reached out to the city, which mobilized a crisis communications center previously used during mega events such as Super Bowl 52. Meet Minneapolis assisted by creating supportive messages and helping to manage communications needs among the local community, visitors, meeting planners, and international media. Flexible content management technology allowed us to rapidly publish critical info for media, travel planners, and event planners in search of reliable information about the evolving situation in Minneapolis. This continues to include updated info on the “Future of Public Safety in Minneapolis.” In addition, we immediately used our website to create content around available resources for providing help or funds for those impacted.
Results: Which of your original goals did you achieve and how? How did you measure the effectiveness of the initiative?
All four of the stated goals were met. Internal stakeholders were kept abreast of the situation with 3x weekly internal email updates, regular board messaging and continuous updates to the “Future of Public Safety in Minneapolis” information as discussions moved from the death of George Floyd to defund/dismantle the police. Visitation to the Meet Minneapolis website tripled over the preceding days as visitors flooded the website in search of information on specific neighborhoods that were affected, opportunities to get involved and details on the response from the community. Visitation from organic search increased 250%, as our digital communications strategy leveraged the website’s strong equity in search to capture visitation and position Meet Minneapolis as the leader of the communications strategy for the entire community. Community websites also utilized our content and messaging as sources of information. Visitation from city-owned websites increased 400% as these government-led community websites also saw a surge in traffic and directed visitors to the Meet Minneapolis website for additional information on the crisis. Website user behavior data shows the communications strategy was not only effective at driving visitors to our website for information, but the website was critical in engaging with visitors and educating them on the crisis and community response. The number of engaged digital users who viewed more than three pages of the website in a given session increased 30%, as the digital communications being deployed by our crisis response team engaged and educated visitors. This demonstrates how effectively our team was in engaging a wide range of audiences and providing leadership in the sharing of the Minneapolis story in a direct, honest, and engaging way.
Entry Title
Crisis within a Crisis - Minneapolis
Crisis Communications/Management - Crisis Communications/Management
Crisis Communications/Management
Entry Award: