Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. van Greunen

Theresa van Greunen

Senior Director of Corporate Communications, Aqua-Aston Hospitality

Theresa van Greunen, senior director of corporate communications, joined Aqua-Aston Hospitality in 2015 as director of public relations and promotions and has been providing strategic direction and implementing successful communications campaigns ever since.

To elevate Aqua-Aston's 70-year legacy, Ms. van Greunen launched #ShareTheAloha, a pay-it-forward campaign providing a platform for Hawaii's community leaders and non-profit organizations who are doing good by sharing Hawaii's unique culture; promoting the principles of tolerance, diversity and equality; and being environmental stewards. #ShareTheAloha is the company's most successful campaign to date and due to unprecedented consumer response, was extended three times.

Additional highlights from Ms. van Greunen's career with Aqua-Aston include developing Aqua-Aston's corporate social responsibility program, "Advocate with Aqua-Aston," and most notably, its #ForOurReef campaign. Credited with influencing the new law that bans reef-damaging sunscreens in Hawaii (Senate Bill 2571), the public awareness initiative and sought to amplify awareness about the issue; increase consumer demand for reef-safe sunscreen; and increase the availability of reef-safe sunscreen for purchase. Since launching the campaign in 2018, Aqua-Aston has distributed more than 100,000 reef-safe sunscreen samples with educational information to hotel guests and the community at more than 50 events throughout Hawaii.

Ms. van Greunen's tremendous success spearheading Advocate with Aqua-Aston and the#ForOurReef campaign led to Aqua-Aston's recognition by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) as a leader in corporate social responsibility, and her honor as one of the "Top 25 Extraordinary Minds" in 2019.

Ms. van Greunen oversees a growing corporate communications team and under her leadership, Aqua-Aston has refined its online customer service programs, resulting in quicker response times. Following tremendously positive results from integrating LiveChat with social media platforms, Aqua-Aston Hospitality is now one the first global brands to integrate the new Apple Business Chat and Google Business Message features with its online platforms. 

Please visit http://www.aquaaston.com for more information.

Ms. van Greunen can be contacted at +1 808-202-5756 or pr@aqua-aston.com

Coming up in February 2020...

Social Media: Social Listening Tools

The reach and influence of social media is staggering. Nearly 3 billion people use social media daily, posting a range of messages, selfies, images, and everything in-between. According to HubSpot, almost 4 million posts are uploaded to the major social networks every single minute! That's an astounding amount of content and it is crucial for hotels to skillfully use social media in order to effectively compete. From establishing a suitable brand identity and voice to creating content across all the major networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.), the goal is to actively engage consumers and to eventually convert them to customers. Some hotels are initiating online contests as a way to attract new customers, while others are rewarding customers with discounts who subscribe to the their email lists or follow their social media pages. Another recent strategy is to employ social media listening tools that track what people are posting online about their businesses. These tools allow hotels to monitor - or listen to - what's being said about a brand across the entire social web, and this can prove to be very valuable, unfiltered information. Social listening permits hotels to be aware of people's opinions about their business, industry or competitors, and some of these tools even listen beyond social media platforms. They also monitor publicly available information on blogs, forums, news outlets and websites. Some listening tools are more focused on gathering and analyzing data, while others offer more engagement-oriented features, which allow hotels to interact with people right from the platform. Often the information that is gleaned from these listening tools ends up being the most authentic, unbiased insights a business can get. The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to successfully integrate social media strategies into their operations.