In a time of political turmoil, a relaxing motel stay may be the perfect getaway, if the police don’t detain you first.
The Phoenix NewTimes reported employees of a Phoenix Motel 6 may have been sending guest information to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. This comes after Manuel Rodriguez-Juarez was taken into custody at a Motel 6 in June, after handing the motel employee his Mexican voter ID card at check-in. The article did not confirm the involvement of the Motel 6 employees but suggested it was true.
As the allegation triggered an uproar in the Phoenix community, the public relations world waited patiently wanting to see how the major motel chain would respond. But alas, the excitement was short lived after a brief, impersonal message was all the public received.
The 24-word post was not well received. Motel 6 took no responsibility for the situation and shifted the blame to the local level. The two-sentence response offered no sense of remorse.
According to PR Daily, when dealing with crisis communications you must take the right steps to manage the media, put the right plan in place and send the right messages to employees and customers. Did Motel 6 do any of those three things? The chain has been silent after the original tweet, executives did not address their employees or customers and did not appear to have a plan in place before addressing the public.
Will Motel 6 be affected? It occurred in only one location and not at the corporate level. But is the chain and their brand affected as a whole, not just in Phoenix? Should they have apologized in their original statement even though they claimed not to have known?