Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Garretson

Cara Garretson

Media Supervisor, McKee Wallwork & Company

Cara Garretson is a Media Supervisor with McKee Wallwork & Company, a strategic integrated marketing firm. Ms. Garretson has approximately a decade of marketing experience and has been with McKee Wallwork & Company since 2006. She is responsible for the development and management of strategic media plans. Specializing in channel planning, her expertise covers everything from traditional to digital media channels. Ms. Garretson’s travel and tourism experience ranges from resort advertising to state and city level marketing efforts, and has focused on both leisure and convention strategies. Having dedicated much of her career to the travel and tourism industry, Ms. Garretson has enjoyed staying on the cutting edge of emerging media technologies and opportunities in the space. With a taste for all things digital, she loves finding new and interesting ways to target in both the desktop and mobile spaces. While the ever-changing digital landscape brings innovative ways to communicate to prospective travelers, it also brings challenges and complications to marketing that didn’t exist just a decade ago. Naturally data driven, Ms. Garretson focuses on the constant analysis and optimization of her campaigns to ensure her clients’ messages are reaching their target markets and driving conversions. Ms. Garretson’s work has been recognized nationally, receiving Media Magazine’s Creative Media Award in the Outdoor or Place-Based Media category. A native to New Mexico, Ms. Garretson enjoys life in the beautiful foothills of Albuquerque’s Sandia Mountains with her husband and Australian Shepherd.

Ms. Garretson can be contacted at 505-314-7745 or crogers@mwcmail.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.