Hotels: How to Communicate Effectively with Blogs

By Didi Lutz President, Didi Lutz PR | October 28, 2008

Blogs (traditionally called Web Logs): A fairly recent type of medium, created at will for sharing news, opinions and information. Hotels are slowly beginning to realize the importance of these authoritarian online outlets that are taking the Internet by storm with postings of accurate and sometimes very inaccurate information. The worst of it is, blogs are most times not objective and heavily biased sources of news, but since they are so widespread they become an alarming concern. It is no surprise why PR professionals should keep this emerging type of media on their radar screens to protect the branding and image of their clients.

What is posted on a blog?

Blogs can be created at any time, and by anyone for whatever reason. The blog content could cover a particular interest or subject, and in some cases the subject is an organization. Pertaining to the travel industry, there are hundreds of travel blogs that talk about experiences in hotels and do not hesitate to become specific. Participants name everything about a travel experience, from the property's features to stories about specific managers and staff that either made a stay better or worse. These types of blogs resemble routinely updated online diaries that feature links to news and stories and even personal websites.

Who creates blogs?

Almost all blogs are hosted by a single person who is referred to as the Blogger. The majority of these self-proclaimed gurus are usually just Internet fans whose goal is to bring their individual views and ideas to the online environment in the form of dialogue. However, other bloggers can be leading industry experts, writers or journalists who create similar forums (blogs) just to express their opinions freely without the rules and constraints of editors, as it would in a newspaper or magazine. In that respect, blogs provide the ultimate freedom of speech in the online world, making it challenging for public relations professionals to recognize inaccurate information and react to it in time.

Blogs and Public Relations

Coming up in March 2018...

Human Resources: Value Creation

Businesses must evolve to stay competitive and this is also true of employment positions within those organizations. In the hotel industry, for example, the role that HR professionals perform continues to broaden and expand. Today, they are generally responsible for five key areas - government compliance; payroll and benefits; employee acquisition and retention; training and development; and organizational structure and culture. In this enlarged capacity, HR professionals are no longer seen as part of an administrative cost center, but rather as a member of the leadership team that creates strategic value within their organization. HR professionals help to define company policies and plans; enact and enforce systems of accountability; and utilize definable metrics to measure and justify outcomes. Of course, there are always new issues for HR professionals to address. Though seemingly safe for the moment, will the Affordable Care Act ultimately be repealed and replaced and, if so, what will the ramifications be? There are issues pertaining to Millennials in the workforce and women in leadership roles, as well as determining the appropriate use of social media within the organization. There are new onboarding processes and e-learning training platforms to evaluate, in addition to keeping abreast of political issues like the minimum wage hike movement, or the re-evaluation of overtime rules. Finally, there are genuine immigration and deportation issues that affect HR professionals, especially if they are located in Dreamer Cities, or employ a workforce that could be adversely impacted by federal government policies. The March Hotel Business Review will take a look at some of the issues, strategies and techniques that HR professionals are employing to create and sustain value in their organization.