Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Horwell

Vanessa Horwell

Founder & Chief Visibility Officer, ThinkInk & TravelInk'd

Vanessa Horwell is the founder and Chief Visibility Officer of ThinkInk & TravelInk'd, a public relations and visibility firm that shuns press releases in favor of storytelling. She has spent the past 18 years working with companies in the US, UK and Europe, developing successful campaigns and strategies for their brands. She founded ThinkInk in 2004, after being fed up with PR agencies that offered mediocre results for big fees. Today, Ms. Horwell is a senior level strategist who works with companies in North America, EMEA and Asia-Pac in developing winning media campaigns, building relationships with influencers, and improving visibility through a unique style of public relations. She also has an entrepreneurial spirit that comes from having raised capital for start-ups, and having grown her own businesses. Ms. Horwell is also recognized in the field of mobile marketing through her ongoing column in the mobile industry resource, Mobile Marketer, the Director of PR for the Heartland Mobile Council (HMC) in North America, and being named to the Mobile Women to Watch 2010 for her contributions to mobile advertising, marketing and media in 2010. Whether she works in mobile, travel or technology, Ms. Horwell's purpose is to help build reputations and relationships for the company's clients - with media, potential customers and partners; to tell her clients' stories to the world, and to make them visible where it counts most. She uses her almost two decades of industry insight to create PR campaigns with a purpose, creating awareness, instilling beliefs, changing behaviors and motivating actions that translate into support for ThinkInk's clients.

Ms. Horwell can be contacted at 305-749-5342 or vanessa@thinkinkpr.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.