Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Howell

Rob Howell

General Manager, Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort

Rob Howell is the General Manager of The Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort. He has held leadership positions in the hospitality industry for nearly 30 years. Rob’s specialties include increasing the sustainability of business, creating a culture of exceptional guest service, breaking the mold of typical business organizational structures, and auditing operations to focus on “what makes us successful; people and processes”. A graduate with a Master’s Degree in Hotel Administration from Penn State University’s Hospitality program, Mr. Howell has held responsibilities ranging from Vice President of Marketing and General Manager to Graduate Assistant and Sales Manager. Mr. Howell began his career at Allied Hospitality, later SB Yen, and finally arrived at The Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort where he manages the 99 room property and 27-hole championship golf course among other amenities. Mr. Howell is a board member of the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association, President of the Sherman Theater, and Rotarian. He has been honored as the 2010 General Manager of the Year for the United States by the American Hotel and Lodging Association, 2010 General Manager of the Year by the Pennsylvania Tourism and Lodging Association, and 2008 Outstanding Tourism Employee by the Pocono Mountain Visitors Bureau.

Mr. Howell can be contacted at 570-424-4050 x1409 or pr@shawneeinn.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.