Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Brashear

Katie Brashear

Complex Director of Public Relations, Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel

As complex director of public relations for Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel, the premier convention hotel in Arizona, and The Westin Phoenix Downtown, Katie Brashear is responsible for overseeing the public relations initiatives, media and community outreach efforts, social media strategies, advertising plans, content creation, and marketing initiatives for the hotels. She is also the sustainability champion for Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel where she manages and guides the property's “green” initiatives. With more than 10 years of professional experience in public relations, marketing, advertising and branding, Ms. Brashear's strong vision and professional leadership helped shape the two downtown Phoenix hotels into unparalleled and flourishing, urban destinations. Ms. Brashear joined Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel as director of public relations. Shortly, she assumed the public relations efforts for Sheraton Crescent and the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel, later in 2012, she assumed The Westin Phoenix Downtown. Prior to Ms. Brashear's experience with the Sheraton and Westin brands, she held the marketing manager position and the sustainability champion at W Scottsdale. Ms. Brashear began her hospitality career with Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide in 2007 with W Scottsdale - the hotel opened on September 30, 2008. Before the hospitality industry, Ms. Brashear worked in public relations for luxury retailer, Neiman Marcus Scottsdale. Ms. Brashear graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University's Barrett Honors College and the Walker Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications with a Bachelor of Arts with an emphasis in public relations and a minor in business.

Ms. Brashear can be contacted at 602-817-5323 or katie.brashear@sheraton.com

Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.