Editorial Board   

Ms. Halpern Lanz

Leora Halpern Lanz

President, LHL Communications

Leora Halpern Lanz has been an active leader and participant in the field of hospitality marketing since 1985, and has always been at the forefront of strategic marketing and communications. She was named the 2010 Hospitality Marketing Executive of the Year by the Big Apple (Greater New York) chapter of Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI). And in February 2017, Leora was named among the Top 25 Extraordinary Minds of Hospitality Sales and Marketing, to be recognized at the HSMAI Adrian Awards dinner in New York City in February 2017. Ms. Lanz is a full time faculty member of Boston University’s School of Hospitality, where she teaches introduction and advanced marketing classes as well as digital marketing. In May 2017 she was named Professor of the Year. In addition to serving as full-time faculty at BU’s School of Hospitality, Ms. Lanz is also Principal of LHL Communications, assisting hotels and hospitality organizations with content marketing, branding, media relations, digital and social media advisory, and on-line reputation management, including: development of internal and external position statements; content creation and story-telling for audience engagement and connections; media training, and “branding” and “solutions” sales training. Her clients include hospitality management and ownership companies, consulting firms and advisory services, regional investment conferences around the globe as well as owners’ associations. Previously, Ms. Lanz served, for 15 years as Global Director of Marketing & Communications for HVS, a leading international hospitality consulting and services firm. She was responsible for overseeing the internal and external marketing communications for the organization’s multitude of offices, services, conferences, and articles and research. She directed the firm’s global business teams for Marketing and Communications, Graphic Standards, Internal Communications, Social Media, Conference Branding and the Market Connections annual event. She also managed and edited the firm’s weekly newsletter, the Global Hospitality Report and was the company’s primary media contact. Simultaneously, Ms. Lanz directed HVS’s Sales & Marketing division, working directly with a myriad of hotel properties and companies, hospitality related services, and other entertainment and recreational venues. Ms. Lanz and her team of experienced marketing communications specialists provided strategic planning, innovative sales training and action planning, social media marketing and publicity, and big-picture branding consultancy. Prior to joining HVS, Ms. Lanz served for 10 years as Director of Public Relations and Advertising for the ITT Sheraton Hotels of New York and for five years as Director of Public Relations for the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau. With ITT Sheraton, she ran the public relations and advertising operations for six hotels and played a significant public relations role for the hotels during the 1992 Democratic National Convention, and for numerous hotel openings since that time. While in Boston, she spearheaded the citywide promotion of the Monet exhibition and was invited by the Japan National Tourist Organization to teach destination marketing to tourism officials there. During her graduate studies she also handled public relations activities for the (then) new Four Seasons Hotel at the Boston Common. Ms. Lanz is an active member of the Public Relations Society of America (www.prsa.org) , having served as chairperson of the PRSA Travel & Tourism Conferences in 1998 and 2000, and a member of the Society of American Travel Writers (www.SATW.org) and Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (www.HSMAI.org). She is also a board member of the Cornell Club of Long Island, where she resides. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a master’s from Boston University. She has written for dozens of industry publications and excerpts of her articles are included in the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute’s Sales and Marketing textbook 6th edition, released in March 2014. Please visit www.lhlcommunications.com for more information.

Ms. Halpern Lanz can be contacted at 516-680-8529 or leora@lhlcommunications.com

Coming up in April 2018...

Guest Service: Empowering People

Excellent customer service is vitally important in all businesses but it is especially important for hotels where customer service is the lifeblood of the business. Outstanding customer service is essential in creating new customers, retaining existing customers, and cultivating referrals for future customers. Employees who meet and exceed guest expectations are critical to a hotel's success, and it begins with the hiring process. It is imperative for HR personnel to screen for and hire people who inherently possess customer-friendly traits - empathy, warmth and conscientiousness - which allow them to serve guests naturally and authentically. Trait-based hiring means considering more than just a candidate's technical skills and background; it means looking for and selecting employees who naturally desire to take care of people, who derive satisfaction and pleasure from fulfilling guests' needs, and who don't consider customer service to be a chore. Without the presence of these specific traits and attributes, it is difficult for an employee to provide genuine hospitality. Once that kind of employee has been hired, it is necessary to empower them. Some forward-thinking hotels empower their employees to proactively fix customer problems without having to wait for management approval. This employee empowerment—the permission to be creative, and even having the authority to spend money on a customer's behalf - is a resourceful way to resolve guest problems quickly and efficiently. When management places their faith in an employee's good judgment, it inspires a sense of trust and provides a sense of higher purpose beyond a simple paycheck. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.