Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Watkins

Jane Watkins

President, Watkins Public Relations

Jane Watkins, a native of the Caribbean island of St. Croix, was raised understanding the value of water. With only a cistern to provide water to the household, water conservation was critical because if the cistern was empty - you would be out of water until the next rainfall. Upon moving to the continental USA, Ms. Watkins was horrified to see people watering their grass. Having lived in Florida for the past ten years, where watering the lawn seems to be a daily ritual with most homeowners, Ms. Watkins still refuses. “I am working on eliminating as much grass as possible in my yard by planting drought resistant natives and pollinator attracting plants.” Having worked at resorts and boat charters since a teen, it is no surprise Watkins, a marketing communications specialist, focuses on the hospitality industry. A graduate of Florida State University, she has built a track record in integrated marketing communications including launches, events, promotions, sponsorships, media relations, collateral, and advertising. Her vertical marketing experience includes food and beverage, movies, retail, travel and tourism, art, and youth marketing. She has represented hotels and destinations worldwide. Ms. Watkins has managed marketing efforts for Atlanta Pride, Glory Foods as well as national accounts. She is a volunteer for the St. Croix Foundation, the Center for Great Apes and select non-profits. In 2011, she produced the cookbook for her client, the St. Croix Food & Wine Experience, to benefit the St. Croix Foundation, a non-profit serving the US Virgin Islands.

Ms. Watkins can be contacted at 305-235-8575 or jane@watkinspr.com

Coming up in June 2018...

Sales & Marketing: Opinions Matter

Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors manage a complex mix of strategies to attract and convert customers into guests. Part of their expertise includes an awareness of customer behavior during the reservation process, so they can make sure their hotel is favorably positioned. One such trend is the growing popularity of travel review sites. According to one recent survey, 61% of prospective customers consult online reviews in order to validate information about the hotel before making a purchasing decision. Another survey found that the average hotel customer reads between 6-12 reviews across 4-10 properties before making a final decision on where to stay. Similarly, other studies have shown that consumer reviews are a more trusted source of information for prospective customers than other kinds of marketing messaging. In fact, reviews are often considered to be as influential as price regarding whether a customer decides to complete a purchase or not. Plus, travel sites with the most reviews - including recent reviews from satisfied customers and thoughtful responses from staff - were also found to be the most appealing. So having positive reviews on a travel website is essential and can help to increase a hotel's conversion rates dramatically. Of course, there are all kinds of additional marketing strategies for sales and marketing directors to consider - the importance of video and the emergence of live streaming; the implementation of voice search; the proliferation of travel bots; and the development of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.