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Communication Plan

Discuss about the Impact Of UK National Minimum Wage On Employment.

The study revolves around a crisis which is associated with “Alton Towers Resort”. Alton Towers is a theme-based park at Staffordshire in the United Kingdom. ‘The Smiler’ which is known for its fast & furious experience with sharp turns & twist witnessed a crash of carriages. The result was devastating as few were seriously injured while leaving others to minor injuries. Most importantly, the reputation of Alton Towers was hammered. It did not just attracted criticising voices but also resulted in business losses. The ride remained closed for quite a few months. It remained closed during the peak times. It was indeed a major loss to both its reputation and the revenues (Baños-Caballero, García-Teruel & Martínez-Solano, 2014).

The after impact of the crisis is notable and will remain unforgettable to Merlin Entertainment who owns the Alton Towers. Since the crisis, the footfalls to this part of the Merlin Entertainment have significantly reduced. The incident has expectedly contributed in the decreasing business. Notably, the business that once stood at £87m in 2014 reduced to earning between £40m and £50m. The theme park and the ride which were once the crowd pullers had to be temporarily closed (, 2018).

The study is aimed at developing a communication plan to help the owners of Alton Towers communicate effectively with those who have suffered from ‘the Smiler’ and the others as well. The plan will also help the company to rebuild its brand image.


Strengths: The tower is the biggest theme park in the United Kingdom. It means it can accommodate the largest people. It also has a good reputation which is unrivalled by its competitors. It is also suitable for a number of age ranges which is a rare fact for a theme-based park. Alton Towers has tame and thrilling rides which parents going with their kids can also enjoy. Alton does also make the notable charities to help the seriously ill, disadvantaged or disabled children (Merlin Entertainments, 2018).

Weaknesses: Queue times are a little longer than it should be. Ride breakdowns as it happened to ‘the Smiler’ are a serious issue. This could really upset the visitors. They will carry the fear in mind and will not be able to enjoy their rides. A long queues time is another area which its competitors can take the advantage of by offering better service in this regard (Kolk & Rivera-Santos, 2018). Alton Towers can consider including the extra carriages as it is one of the better strategies to reduce the wait time. Ticket prices are marginally lower than the Disneyland Paris. Hence, customers such as the adult age group can prefer going to Disneyland Paris rather (Merlin Entertainments, 2018).

Situational Analysis

Opportunities: There is currently no Easter event at the Alton Towers. Schools remain closed during the Easter and hence, Alton can be benefitted from including events based on the Easter. This will simply boost the family days out. The park needs to be made more educational, so that, it becomes a prime attraction for children (Linnenluecke, 2017). The park can also take the advantage of including the healthier food outlets. Customers will then have a variety of option to choose from. An effective PR communication can be used to resurrect and reinvent the brand image (Merlin Entertainments, 2018).  

Threats: The biggest threat at this moment is probably to regenerate the customers’ participation as the recent accident has damaged their trust in the brand. Bad weather has always been the biggest threat for the park as it cannot be opened entirely during bad weather. From the economic point of view, a recession is a threat also. Customers, in such circumstances, would have the less disposable income to spend on outings to a park (Lin & Wu, 2014). Potential competitors such as ‘Thorpe Park’ are always a challenge. The opening of new rides in the Thorpe Park will definitely create some attraction for customers (Donate & de Pablo, 2015). There is a need for an effective PR communication and also the inclusion of new & attractive rides to re-establish the damaged reputation of Alton Towers (Merlin Entertainments, 2018).

Critical success factors: The critical success factor would be to enhance the connectivity with customers. The connectivity will depend on the two main variables such as the ticket price and the attractive packages. Ticket price needs to be cheaper than its competitors, so that, its customers are left with reason to visit the park. The package should include more new rides and the Easter events. It should also appeal to those who love the educational outing in the form of a park.

Political: The owners of Alton Towers might be harassed form the UK government for security measures in the park. The other political threat is the minimum wage. The increment in the wages in the UK will result in increased wage budget for Alton Towers (Dickens, Riley & Wilkinson, 2015). Hence, one of the critical factors for the success that is to offer the cheapest ticket prices to customers will then be very difficult for Alton Towers to fulfil (Mingers & Yang, 2017).  

SWOT and PEST Analysis

Economic: Recession is a threat for the Alton Towers as during the recession people will have the less disposable income. Hence, they will certainly restrict their spending on things which are not their basic needs. During this time, amusement parks with cheaper ticket rates will only be able to attract the visitors’ participation (Waemustafa & Sukri, 2015).

Social: Media coverage can affect the business of Alton Towers. There have been incidents in past and it has also happened now. Such incidents do not just affect the customers’ loyalty but also propagates a wrong message to the mass. A word-of-mouth publicity is indeed very important for a constant business with amusement parks. It is important that ‘Alton Towers' must address the accident with suitable concerns and also promise for a much secured & a better ride experience in the future (Staniewski, 2016).  

Technology: Technological advancements will be of huge importance for ‘Alton Towers’. This will be needed to introduce new rides or something else to customers. This will also be required to provide a much secured and safe rides to customers. Nevertheless, this will also be used to produce an impactful communication with customers to keep the brand image prevented from any potential threat. It is important to identify the most useful & the feasible technology and then use it to communicate with customers (Li & Liu, 2014).

Critical success factors: The success factors can be divided into two variables such as an effective handling of recession and also an effective communication with the target audience. The best way to reduce the impact of recession would be to keep the ticket prices low; however, this may not be easy considering the increased wages in the UK. This may be relatively handful to offer cheaper than its competitors do but footfalls may not improve with just that. During the recession, people used to have a very less disposable income. Hence, they should have reasons to think of activities other than their basic or fundamental needs. On the other hand, it is challenging to offer the attractive prices considering the increased wages in the UK. Therefore, it is important for Alton Towers that it finds ways to remain cost-effective during the recession.

An effective communication with the target audience will require the execution of good strategies and a proper use of effective technologies (Dunne et al., 2016). ‘Alton Towers’ specifically needs to identify the best ways to communicate with the target audience, so that, the lost happened from the accident is effectively repaired. Since the accident in the park has happened, there has not been any effective PR communication from the owners of ‘Alton Towers’. There is an ample number of technological tools that can be used to communicate and convey the message. However, all tools may not be equally effective as it should be both feasible and executable for the concerned company. Therefore, it is important for Alton Towers to use the effective ways to communicate with the target audience.

The PR communication is to repair and recreate the brand image of ‘Alton Towers’. There were no safety campaigns being held since the accident has happened. Therefore, it is important that the park identifies its target audience and is also able to communicate effectively with them. The target audience for the PR would definitely be the victims of the accident. They have some bad experiences being in the park. Their views on the accident and their personal experiences can do a negative publicity for the park. Few customers make decisions based on the word-of-mouth publicity only. Therefore, the victims will actually influence the others close to them such as their relatives, friends & the dear ones and will also encourage for not being a part of the park. This is due to all such possibilities the victims will be one of the concerns for the PR communication. People of all age groups especially the kids and the adult age groups will be the secondary targets. This is because the park has lost the footfalls due to the incident and it desperately needs an increment in the footfall to sustain the business (Kim & Kim 2016). PR communication should definitely work to restore the reputational image of ‘Alton Towers’ and draw more new visitors in the future.   

Specific: “Targeting the victims of accident and the mass-audience to make them aware of the safety plans and recreate the brand image”

  • To conduct the safety campaigns
  • To conduct PR communication through various modes such as press release, magazines, social sites and the other possible means
  • To implement the strategy with good plans and resources to provide a back up to the strategy  

Measurable: “Conducting the safety campaigns and the PR communication”

  • To conduct the safety campaigns in two phases such as by publishing the safety report and by conducting the safety campaigns
  • To include the impactful contents in the safety report
  • To produce some creative safety campaigns such as through animated or cartoonist characters guiding to the safety measures

Attainable: “Using effective contents for the safety campaigns and also using the cartoonist characters in the amusement park”

  • To effectively design the safety campaigns
  • To make it more informative and easier for others to understand
  • To use cartoonist characters in a way that it is eye-catching and engaging for the visitors
  • To only use the famous cartoonist characters to make it appealing to the children  

Relevant: “Making the safety campaigns as attractive as it is feasible with the Alton Towers”

  • To make a good spending on the safety campaigns to make it appealing to the target audience
  • To use the various modes of PR like press release effectively to reach to a mass people
  • To effectively identify the best feasible PR modes for ‘Alton Towers’

Time-Bound: “Consuming as much time as required to make an impactful PR communication”

  • To divide the campaigns into two parts such as the one as safety campaigns and the other as a creative communication
  • To include elements like a press release and also the information available on Alton's website in the safety campaigns
  • To conduct the safety campaigns in the first year
  • To conduct the creative PR communication with cartoonist characters in the next phase

“Alton Towers has always cared their customers and its responsibilities for them. This is also why Alton has accepted the accident to be its fault only. Come for the change and observe it feel. Customers will definitely feel to be in a different world of joys and entertainment”.

It is a very important segment of the PR communication which should be taken care with effective strategies. The safety campaign would be crafted in a report format. The report should have the impactful contents in the form of a press release and also the information taken from Alton's website. The press release must describe the modified policies for visitor’s safety. It should also have some future plans of ‘Alton Towers’ like the inclusion of new rides, new technologies and the latest measures of safety. All such details need to be introduced in an interesting and engaging way, so that, readers and the visitors feel like reading it. Apart from the press release, other contents should also be made engaging and attractive to make the readers curious for it. Visitors will be made informed on the safety measures which they suppose to follow while being in the park and also when they are using the rides. This will be the first part of the safety campaigns (Syahri, Kriyantono & Nasution, 2015).

In the second part of the safety campaigns, visitors should be able to see some cartoonist characters in the park. This will be used to draw their attention towards the characters and the messages they convey. The cartoonist display in this way will require some creativity from the ‘Alton Towers’. Creativity will be required to select the characters and the contents which the characters will communicate (Vom Brocke et al., 2014). Moreover, such characters will communicate and educate on safety tips as mentioned below (Yawar & Seuring, 2017):

  • The safe way to use the rides
  • List of things to avoid during the rides
  • Number of things to do such as the safety precautions during the rides

Safety taglines should also work. ‘Alton Towers’ needs to identify the attractive and educative phrases such as the one as follows:

“Keep Arms, Tails and Everything inside the Vehicle”

In summary, this can be said that the PR communication as planned in this study should produce some good outcomes for the ‘Alton Towers’. The PR communication as planned in two phases of safety campaigns should help the target audience relate to the message as being conveyed to them. The safety campaign in the form of a report consisting of also the press release will educate the target audience on the safety measures and the future offers from the ‘Alton Towers’. The second part of the safety campaign where the cartoonist characters will portray the attractive visuals and communicate some messages also should definitely attract the visitors. Overall, the PR communication would repair the reputational image of Alton Towers. This would try to regain customers who had the influence of victims’ negative publicity on their decision-making. The PR communication will also attract more new customers as the campaigns will let people know about some attractive ride offers for the future. The success of the PR campaign should necessarily improve the business and provide a competitive edge to Alton Towers. This looks possible because ‘Alton Towers’ holds a reputation which is not held by any current amusement parks in the United Kingdom. 

XXXXXX (Please insert the logo here)

PRESS RELEASE:                                                                    Contact:

For Immediate Release

Date: (Please insert the date)

Added Security Features and Offers to reinvent the ride experience

 United Kingdom, Staffordshire – The ‘Alton Towers’ will add more security features and the offers to enhance the riding experience of visitors. The park has the rides which the visitors had loved. It also had the security measures to ensure that no unexpected thing happens with the visitors.

There have been instances of accidents in the past of which the latest one was very devastating. It did not just cause five people to meet with serious injuries but had also affected its business just before the peak summer seasons for trading. Two of the victims had their legs amputated following the accident. “Merlin Entertainments”, the owner of ‘Alton Towers’ has concerns with its visitors and those who were the victims. This is the reason that theme park is now coming with plans to provide more security and added offers to its visitors. Visitors will definitely have a lot of surprises coming their way in future.

Great and exciting offers remain one of the integral parts of ‘Alton Towers' and the park never lets its customers down in terms of offers and the exciting rides. This time it has some more surprises probably in the form of a ride which is less prone to breakage. Visitors may certainly enjoy under a controlled environment where they will have little or probably fewer threats from unexpected accidents.

Visitors will also be surprised by looking the famous cartoonist characters in the form of visuals. This should expectedly be a different experience for them as they will not just enjoy their famous characters but will also get to learn about the safety tips. Visitors should be delighted by seeing the changes which are both engaging and interesting as well. They will also get to hear the automated messages in the form of cartoonist characters which will help to remember the safety measures. The characters will also murmur the few words of safety tips, so that, visitors are informed on ways to follow to remain safe during the rides. Rides under such environment should definitely be a changing experience for visitors.

‘Alton Towers' could not prevent such an accident to happen. However, the accident was more a human error than the system faults. It had just lacked a proper communication between staffs. However, it has also affected the management team in ‘Alton Towers’. The effect of the accident will be evident through the changes in terms of security features and the offers in the park. Visitors those who have already visited the park will also be surprised after seeing the changes.

“Merlin Entertainments” which has been serving its customers through ‘Alton Towers’ will continue to do the same and would probably surpass the level of security & offers it gives to its visitors. Visitors will now be more secure and will be under the automated guidance as well. The automated guidance will not just entertain the visitors but would also keep them updated with the security tips.


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