Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. De Franco

Agnes De Franco

Professor and Distinguised Chair at C.N. Hilton College, University of Houston

Agnes De Franco, Ed.D., CHE, CHAE, is a professor and distinguished chair at the C.N. Hilton College at the University of Houston. She is a recipient of teaching awards at both the college and university level; co-author of five textbooks and has published more than 90 refereed articles. Ms. De Franco conducts workshops for the Certified Hospitality Accountant Executive examination; a Certified Hospitality Educator Cadre member and is a recipient of the Dean's Award for Excellence in Applied Research, the Best Paper Award from the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant and International Education (I-CHRIE), and the HFTP-iHITA Best Research Paper Award. She earned the Distinguished Faculty Award, Distinguished Alumna Award, and Young Alumna Award from the Hilton College Alumni Association and is a recipient of the H. J. Heinz Graduate Fellowship. Ms. De Franco is active in a number of local, state and national organizations, including serving as the global president of Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) from 2006-2007; member of I-CHRIE's finance and future fund committees and treasurer of I-CHRIE from 1999 to 2002. She is the past president of Phi Beta Delta and Phi Kappa Phi at the University of Houston and has eight years of central administration experience at UH working with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on undergraduate issues such as persistence, graduation, general education curriculum, and college and career readiness standards. She has eight years of industry experience in food & beverage.

Please visit www.uh.edu for more information.

Ms. De Franco can be contacted at 713-743-2422 or adefranco@uh.edu

Coming up in February 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.