Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. O'Halloran

Robert M. O'Halloran

Professor & Director, School of Hospitality Leadership, East Carolina University

Robert M. O’Halloran is a professor and is currently the Director of the School of Hospitality Leadership at East Carolina University. He was previously Director of the Kemmons Wilson School of Hospitality and Resort Management at the University of Memphis. He has also served in faculty and administrative positions at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, the University of Denver, Michigan State University and Central Michigan University. Professor O’Halloran teaches courses in planning and development, financial feasibility and food and beverage operations. He is also an instructor for the Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE) program offered through the Educational Institute of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. He also was a pre-pilot instructor for the popular Certification in Hotel Industry Analytics (CHIA) jointly offered through ICHRIE, Smith Travel Research and AH&LA. His hospitality industry background includes management and training positions with The Harborside Inn on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, Jolly Roger Restaurants Inc., in California, and Pannell Kerr Forster, a management and consulting company in Los Angeles and Boston. As an academic he continued to pursue industry experience through faculty internships with Aramark, Marriott Management Services (now Sodexo), Marriott International and the Club Managers Association of America; New Jersey Chapter. He has continued his industry partnerships serving on a variety of professional boards. Currently he serves on boards and or committees of the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association, the North Carolina’s Department of Commerce Travel and Tourism Board, The American Hotel & Lodging Education Foundation, the Certification Commission of the Educational Institute of the America Hotel and Lodging Association (Chair), and the Faculty Advisory Committee of the Educational Institute of the AH & LA and the Training and Education Advisory Council of AH&LA. He previously served on the boards of the Tennessee Hotel and Lodging Association, the Metro Memphis Hotel & Lodging Association, the Memphis Restaurant Association and the Memphis Convention and Visitor Bureau and the New York State Restaurant Association. Professor O’Halloran is a recipient of the Innovation in Teaching Award presented by International CHRIE and is recipient of the Tennessee Hotel and Lodging Association’s Educator of the Year award. He is author and or co-author of over one hundred articles, columns, cases and chapters in books. He is also co-editor and contributing author for two case books, Cases in Food Service and Cases in Hospitality and Tourism published by Pearson Prentice Hall and has also served as a subject matter expert for the Pearson Foundation. He is also co-author of the book, Mise en Place for Teaching: A Handbook for Hospitality & Tourism Educators and Trainers published by the Educational Institute of the AH & LA. Please visit http://www.ecu.edu for more information.

Mr. O'Halloran can be contacted at 252-737-1604 or ohalloranr@ecu.edu

Coming up in February 2018...

Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.