Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Murray

Michael Murray

Director of Technology, Lansdowne Resort

Michael Murray was born and raised in the Downeast area of Maine and by age 11 had developed a passion for writing. After graduating from George Stevens Academy in Blue Hill he moved back to Bangor to take classes for Psychology at the University of Maine. While working in one of the few VCR repair shops in the area he found he enjoyed working with electronics and frequently ended up working beyond the original scope of the store.

Mr. Murray soon began working with the first large-chain video retailer to open in the state and took part in their computer-based inventory control. He also became a key player on the task force to open and manage their first location to heavily feature gaming and PC technology, client interaction, and ways to bring in new products.

After moving to the San Francisco Bay area in 1996, Mr. Murray focused his career exclusively in the Audio Visual field before relocating to the Washington DC area in 1998. Recognizing the need to integrate technology into all aspects of the field, he took whatever steps he could with new PC's as they became available to utilize them for back-office operations as well as front of house guest services.

Having been with Lansdowne Resort now for over 12 years in both the Audio Visual and IT fields Mr. Murray has become familiar with the tendency of technology to shift in both slow, subtle ways as well as dramatic, rapid fashion.

In his current position as the Event Technology Manager, Mr. Murray is responsible for both the AV and IT aspects of guests at the Resort. He has been honored by Lansdowne as Manager of the quarter, Employee of the Year, "Best of the Best," and is an active member of the Resort's Green Team.

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

Mr. Murray can be contacted at +1 703-729-8400 or mmurray@benchmarkmanagement.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.