Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Proulx

Chris Proulx

Chief Executive Officer, eCornell

Chris Proulx is the Chief Executive Officer of eCornell. Mr. Proulx became CEO in 2004 after previously serving as Chief Operating Officer and Director of Program Management. Mr. Proulx plays a central role in setting the strategic direction of eCornell. Through close collaboration with senior leadership and faculty at Cornell, heidentifies growth opportunities in online education for the University. Mr. Proulx is responsible for identifying potential new products, and working directly with the faculty and administration of the Schools and Colleges of Cornell University to produce and deliver eCornells online programs. Mr. Proulx is a frequent panelist and technical advisor to online education conferences and industry events, acting as liaison for Cornell University. He is a member of the American Society for Training and Development. He is also a guest columnist for several online hospitality publications. Mr. Proulx's background is in the hospitality industry where he was an operations manager and training resource for Discovery Zone, Inc. and ARAMARK Corporation. His recent focus has been on new and social media and their roles in the rapidly changing social learning environment. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University.

Mr. Proulx can be contacted at 607-330-3265 or cmp43@cornell.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.