Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Roberts

Alan Roberts

Global Head, Embassy Suites by Hilton

Alan Roberts, Global Head Embassy Suites by Hilton, serves as the chief strategist and champion for the Embassy Suites by Hilton Brand. His focus is on the areas of product and service positioning standards, unit distribution strategies and ownership relations. This Global Head is responsible for achieving operational excellence, ensuring that systems, policies and programs are in place to support the brand direction in alignment with the guiding principles of Hilton.

Ultimately, Mr. Roberts is responsible for brand growth and development. He strives to drive profitability and further the expansion of the Embassy Suites portfolio. He was named to his current role in 2016.

A 30-year veteran of the hospitality industry, Mr. Roberts has served in a wide array of capacities, from porter to front office manager, director of sales and general manager, encompassing guest-facing and operational expertise. He started his career with Hilton in 2004 when he joined the Brand Performance & Sales Support team with Hilton Garden Inn (HGI) where he started as a Director. He also served as Sr. Director with this team and culminated his time with HGI as Vice President, Brand Performance and Sales Support.

Mr. Roberts joined the Embassy Suites by Hilton brand in 2013 as Vice President of Brand Performance Support where he served until being promoted to his current position. He graduated from Appalachian State University with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Business Administration, majoring in Hospitality Management. After graduating, he worked for several hotels in the Asheville and Charlotte, NC markets, going on to eventually become the general manager of the Hilton Garden Inn - Charlotte Uptown. Before joining the Hilton Garden Inn brand team, he worked at Panos Hotel Group, overseeing the operations of a 12-hotel portfolio in a regional capacity.

Mr. Roberts can be contacted at 703-883-1000 or alan.roberts@hilton.com

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.