Editorial Board   Guest Author

Dr. O'Halloran

Robert O'Halloran

Professor & Director, Hospitality Management, East Carolina University

Bob O'Halloran, Ph.D., is a Professor and the Director of the School of Hospitality Leadership at East Carolina University (ECU) in Greenville, North Carolina. He is on the Board of Trustees of the American Hotel and Lodging Education Foundation, Vice Chair of the AH&LA's Certification Commission and on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association. Prior to joining ECU he was on the faculty of the University of Memphis, the State University of New York/ Plattsburgh, the University of Denver, Michigan State University and Central Michigan University. Professor O'Halloran has extensive operational experience as a general manager and a training manager for new properties with Jolly Roger and Trans Pacific Restaurants, Inc., in California. He also has operational experience with a Cape Cod resort in the front office and food and beverage departments and has worked as a hospitality management consultant with Pannell Kerr Forster in Los Angeles and Boston. As an academic, he has continued his industry experience through faculty internships with Aramark, Marriott Management Services, the Club Managers Association of New Jersey, the Lodging Division of Marriott International, and the Recreation Division of the United States Forest Service. He was also Visiting Scholar of the National Tourism Foundation. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association. Before moving to ECU in July of 2007 he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Memphis Convention and Visitor Bureau (MCVB), the MCVB's Educational Foundation board, the Metropolitan Memphis Hotel and Lodging Association and the Tennessee Hotel and Lodging Association. He is currently a Commissioner for AH&LA's Certification Commission and was recently elected as Vice Chair and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Hotel & Lodging Education Foundation. He is also a member of the Educational Institute of AHLA Faculty Advisory Board. He is also a current member of the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association Board of Directors. O'Halloran is a recipient of the Van Nostrand Reinhold Award for Teaching Innovation through the Council on Hotel, Restaurant & Institutional Education and the Outstanding Teaching and Advising Awards in the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver. He has presented seminars and workshops for organizations in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, including the National Restaurant Association, the American Hotel & Motel Association, the China Travel Service, the China Travel & Tourism Press, the Hong Kong Hotels Association, Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne, Choice Hotels International, the Grand Teton Lodge Company and others. He is a regular contributor to industry publications and has written over one hundred articles, columns and cases; for trade journals, newspapers, magazines and scholarly publications. He is co-author of a Service Learning chapter for the American Association of Higher Education for the hospitality industry and co-author of the education and training book, Mise en Place for Teaching: A Handbook for Hospitality & Tourism Educators & Trainers published by the Educational Institute of AH & LA. He is also co-editor of two books of case studies published by Prentice Hall and a member of the Board of Editors of the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education.

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

Coming up in February 2020...

Social Media: Social Listening Tools

The reach and influence of social media is staggering. Nearly 3 billion people use social media daily, posting a range of messages, selfies, images, and everything in-between. According to HubSpot, almost 4 million posts are uploaded to the major social networks every single minute! That's an astounding amount of content and it is crucial for hotels to skillfully use social media in order to effectively compete. From establishing a suitable brand identity and voice to creating content across all the major networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.), the goal is to actively engage consumers and to eventually convert them to customers. Some hotels are initiating online contests as a way to attract new customers, while others are rewarding customers with discounts who subscribe to the their email lists or follow their social media pages. Another recent strategy is to employ social media listening tools that track what people are posting online about their businesses. These tools allow hotels to monitor - or listen to - what's being said about a brand across the entire social web, and this can prove to be very valuable, unfiltered information. Social listening permits hotels to be aware of people's opinions about their business, industry or competitors, and some of these tools even listen beyond social media platforms. They also monitor publicly available information on blogs, forums, news outlets and websites. Some listening tools are more focused on gathering and analyzing data, while others offer more engagement-oriented features, which allow hotels to interact with people right from the platform. Often the information that is gleaned from these listening tools ends up being the most authentic, unbiased insights a business can get. The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to successfully integrate social media strategies into their operations.