Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Murray

Michael Murray

Director of Technology, Lansdowne Resort

Michael Murray was born and raised in the Downeast area of Maine and by age 11 had developed a passion for writing. After graduating from George Stevens Academy in Blue Hill he moved back to Bangor to take classes for Psychology at the University of Maine. While working in one of the few VCR repair shops in the area he found he enjoyed working with electronics and frequently ended up working beyond the original scope of the store. Mr. Murray soon began working with the first large-chain video retailer to open in the state and took part in their computer-based inventory control. He also became a key player on the task force to open and manage their first location to heavily feature gaming and PC technology, client interaction, and ways to bring in new products. After moving to the San Francisco Bay area in 1996, Mr. Murray focused his career exclusively in the Audio Visual field before relocating to the Washington DC area in 1998. Recognizing the need to integrate technology into all aspects of the field, he took whatever steps he could with new PC’s as they became available to utilize them for back-office operations as well as front of house guest services. Having been with Lansdowne Resort now for over 12 years in both the Audio Visual and IT fields Mr. Murray has become familiar with the tendency of technology to shift in both slow, subtle ways as well as dramatic, rapid fashion. In his current position as the Event Technology Manager, Mr. Murray is responsible for both the AV and IT aspects of guests at the Resort. He has been honored by Lansdowne as Manager of the quarter, Employee of the Year, “Best of the Best,” and is an active member of the Resort’s Green Team.

Mr. Murray can be contacted at 703-729-8400 or mmurray@benchmarkmanagement.com

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.