Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Labriola

Patrick Labriola

President, Transportation Safety Exchange

Patrick A. Labriola is President of Transportation Safety Exchange (TSX), an industry-pioneering, independent rating organization that inspects, monitors and reports the safety performance of motor carriers in the ground transportation industry. Mr. Labriola is an expert in strategic planning, business development and operational improvement. Prior to joining TSX, Mr. Labriola was the President of the Waterford Group, a consulting organization specializing in business planning and development, merger and acquisition strategies, and other services. Before Waterford Group, Mr. Labriola held roles as President and CEO of a food production company with $70 million in revenue and more than 230 employees; as President and CEO of a manufacturing company, which grew from $45 million to $78 million in revenue, dominating the market category under his leadership; as Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of a large, family-owned beverage distributor; as President and CEO of a pet supply superstore chain which grew rapidly from six to more than 30 locations in less than two years; and as Treasurer of a $900 million department store operation. Mr. Labriola holds a Bachelor of Science degree in management from the University of Dayton in Ohio, and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Mr. Labriola can be contacted at 703-691-4612 or plabriola@tsxcr.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.