Hotel Reputation Management & the Offline Community

Those of us in the digital world often talk about developing online community, creating dialogue, engaging your followers, and so on. Why is it that we give so much more effort to fostering the idea of community online than we do in person?

In the hotel business, there are communities all around us. There is the community of people staying in the hotel at any given time. The community of people who serve and staff the hotel. The community of people in the town or city of the property. The community of people who have stayed in the hotel in the past.

I wonder what would happen if we spent time considering how to serve the whole spectrum of communities at a hotel. To engage these communities in dialogue. What if we had an online community manager and a local community manager? How is this different from a marketing manager? Perhaps, it’s a person whose goals aren’t measured in expense and revenue but in reputation. I believe that approaching current guests, past guests, the local community, and staff with the the tone and goals of a community liaison could be measured in reputation.

Maybe this is the person who greets guests in the public areas to talk about their stay (see my last post). Someone who reports directly to the GM to discuss guest issues. Someone who goes to local events and who knows the neighbors. Someone who calls previous guests or writes them letters. It’s worth thinking about.

The future of hotel reputation management comes back to last week’s idea of innovation. Perhaps if your current set up isn’t working, try changing it up starting with how to best serve your guests followed by how to put more heads in beds.



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