Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Robertson

Mark Robertson

Partner, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP

Mark Robertson has more than 20 years of experience practicing law in the hospitality industry. Prior to joining Sutherland, he spent 17 years with Hilton Worldwide, Inc., ultimately as senior vice president and assistant general counsel responsible for the company's operations, brand and commercial services teams. He managed the full array of business and legal issues relating to international and domestic operations and services for more than 3,500 owned, leased, licensed, franchised and affiliated properties across 10 different hotel brands. Mr. Robertson has extensive experience in information technology, information services, intellectual property, eCommerce, procurement and outsourcing law, having been involved in negotiating, structuring, drafting, implementing and overseeing all manner of purchase and outsourcing agreements. His diverse experience includes oversight of marketing, branding and public relations; crisis management; compliance; joint ventures; new ventures; antitrust and competition; internet distribution; sales; mergers and acquisitions; and franchising and development. Earlier in his career, Mr. Robertson practiced real estate and environmental law at a firm in Los Angeles, California. Prior to law school, he served as a foreign service officer in the U.S. Department of State. His work there took him to diplomatic assignments around the world, including Italy, Canada, Lebanon and the Yemen Arab Republic. Mr. Robertson is admitted to The State Bar of California. He has submitted his application to the District of Columbia Bar. His work is supervised by District of Columbia bar members.

Mr. Robertson can be contacted at 202-383-0945 or mark.robertson@sutherland.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.