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How to Become a PR Wizard! PR 101 (Part 1)

Power of Public Relations - By L. Aruna Dhir - 14 November 2017
Just yesterday, a well-established Travel and Food Writer in the Subcontinent raised a pertinent virtual dialogue about how she misses good, honest PR of yore. She rued the fact that a lot of people getting into hospitality PR do not come with the right skills and more significantly, with the right mindset. There is more chaff than grain, she lamented, stating that the PR world has become superficial, messy and mediocre with too many untrained cooks spoiling the publicity broth. Many young people get into the world of Hospitality Public Relations wearing rose-tinted glasses and thinking that it is going to be a joy ride. They think working in a hotel is going to be a one-big never-ending party with hours spent in wining and dining, a fun affair with the most important factor being that you look your pretty/handsome best. So where are we going wrong?

Common Communication mistakes that show us in bad light! (Part 1)

Power of Public Relations - By L. Aruna Dhir - 14 November 2017
Given the constant onslaught on our senses - with task lists at work having grown bigger and responsibilities at home unceasing - putting time into writing coherent, cogent, consciously thought out emails is really not on top of our prioritized heap. Hence, the quick-fixes and shortcuts we have begun to adopt, without realizing that we dig a deep hole for our professional avatars when paying disregard to how we communicate in our business roles. Here follow five of the ten seemingly simple communication rules that we get wrong most of the time. It would help - both how we project our personas and how we are perceived by others - if we attempted to avoid the following bloopers when we hit the keypad:- 1. Not getting the salutation or form of addressing right You have to believe it when I tell you how ridiculously I was called out by a telemarketer recently. When I picked up the call she asked to speak to 'Dhir L. Aruna'.

Common Communication mistakes that show us in bad light! (Part 1)

L. Aruna Dhir - 31 October 2017
Given the constant onslaught on our senses - with task lists at work having grown bigger and responsibilities at home unceasing - putting time into writing coherent, cogent, consciously thought out emails is really not on top of our prioritized heap.Hence, the quick-fixes and short cuts we have begun to adopt, without realizing that we dig a deep hole for our professional avatars when paying disregard to how we communicate in our business roles.Here follow five of the ten seemingly simple communication rules that we get wrong most of the time.It would help - both how we project our personas and how we are perceived by others - if we attempted to avoid the following bloopers when we hit the keypad:-1. Not getting the salutation or form of addressing rightYou have to believe it when I tell you how ridiculously I was called out by a telemarketer recently. When I picked up the call she asked to speak to "Dhir L. Aruna". I asked her why was she addressing me in such an outlandish fashion and she said, without the virtual batting of an eyelid, "That is how it is written in the document I have in my hand."There are different ways to address people with different designations ranging from Mr., Ms. (helps to avoid Miss or Mrs. saving you from making more goof-ups. Further, in business matters, Ms. is more unequivocal, formal and professional than either Miss or Mrs.), Dr., Your Excellency, The Honourable and so on. We have set out guidelines available to us in each case. Please use them.Also, when you are writing to a neutral sounding name do a background check on what gender the person belongs to and address them correctly. Though not any less in others, this becomes quite important in the service industry where you have a direct relationship with a customer / guest.I once addressed a certain Blaise M as "Ms. M" because I had encountered a female Blaise in the past but here I was dealing with a male Managing Director. I was pretty embarrassed about the faux pas, which could have been easily avoided. Andrea, Alex, Jordan, Jamie, Morgan, Taylor, Chandra, Kiran, Jyoti, Shashi....the world is full of people with unisex names. Do a little research on the relevant recipient in order to get your salutation right.Then there follows the next thing after salutation. What is the best form of addressing a business associate? If you are an American or Australian it may be OK to get on to Peter, Katherine or Edward or even to Pete, Kate or Ed in the second mail itself. Even in the case of these nationalities, please wait for the addressee to give you that leeway. The world, it seems, is filled with too many people who are eager to cross the bar and jump into the area of over-familiarity.But do that with Europeans, Asians, Far East Asians and you are walking on thin ice that could quickly snap and sink you into the cold shoulder reservoir.I don't understand the recent practice of e-retailers who work on an algorithm that automatically picks up the first name. I find it quite atrocious and unprofessional bordering on rude to be addressed as Aruna by the virtual (nameless, faceless) book vendor, furniture supplier, banker, grocer, credit card rep and the like. Since their system is based on a pre-written code why can't they get their salutation right and stick to the tried and tested, old fashioned way of writing to a Mr. or Ms. so and so?Again, in the service industry - be it hotels, banks, hospitals, insurance..... - it is safe to stick to the conservative Mr. or Mrs. Smith to set the ball of official communication rolling.2. Using SMS language or other AcronymsWe are surely and quite dreadfully becoming the generation that communicates in 'textese.'As if ASAP, BTW, THX, FYI, Ha Ha were not already pretty bad, we are now resorting to C U, IMHO, GR8, MSG, IDK in our emails. The latest inductee in the Communication Hall of Shame to get the Oxford Dictionary recognition is NBD. But in business communication, this matter is a Big Deal!With modes of our daily communication getting smaller, the case of us using them to communicate officially is increasing. For a lot of practical reasons, the first casualty - which seems superfluous in the times of the tablet - to be crucified is punctuation.We commit this error, even if it puts us in the category of cheats and felons. Sample this -Let's eat GrandpaLet's eat, GrandpaUsing textese in official communication shows you in a bad light, makes you appear lazy and worst of all, threatens to change the import of your communication capsule.Similarly, acronyms are extremely contextual and country specific. On my first trip to the US, when I failed to comprehend a colloquialism, a cousin scoffed saying I was F.O.B. The joke was lost on me.Officially recognized acronyms such as UNICEF, NATO, WTO, AIDS are universally acceptable and understood. So, there is no problem in using them. Even CRM, DM, B2B, B2C, CPC, DNS, GA, HTML, KPI are an integral part of our Business lingo, easy to comprehend and relate to.What causes a problem is usage of the informal ones, even if you must send in a reply or submit a report ASAP. Definitely steer clear of OMG, IMHO, NSFW, WYSIWYG, LOL, TTYL and some of the other new world language croppers that, IMO, take the essence and flow away from the text.Be mindful about dipping into the overused FYI, FYA, BTW, B4, BRB, PLZ, CU, the abominable K, the illiterate UR and the incoherent TY.Increasing and widespread usage of SMSese or chatspeak has, indeed, corrupted our language, affected our comprehension and limited our linguistic skills.3. Sending too many attachmentsAttachments can be hugely irksome; especially on hand-held devices.A leading news website I wish to write for, gives specific instructions while inviting a writer pitch. "Please do not send attachements," it says categorically. "Cut and paste or write into the body of the email all the responses we seek to our queries," it adds.Unless specifically asked for or when really important to the matter at hand - for instance attaching a CV to the job application, sending a report document, a brochure design PDF - desist from adding weight to your mail by needlessly pinning attachments to it.Attachments are, often, invited by the recipient or offered by the sender when you are in your second or third stage of dialogue. Also, send only the requisite amount, even when you must up sell yourself or your product.4. Getting too familiar in our toneIt could be because we have too much on our plate, or because we wish to save time for our other pursuits or diddle away precious time on our social media activities so much that we are in a maniacal frenzy to get the important work done. We may also feel that appearing close to a professional contact or a figure of authority will bring us some benefit. Whatever is our excuse, some of us are getting too familiar in the way we communicate officially.I, recently, received a formal note from a junior colleague who wished to enlist my help in writing / editing with a "Hello, there." No, it was not a SPAM or a lottery scam from Nigeria. The person was from my industry, was writing to seek formal help and was attempting to create an impression.Some obnoxious notes end with a callously casual, "Do call me," which is not only grammatically incorrect but also makes the sender come across as pompously presumptuous.More often than not, our disembodied voice and the content of our message conveyed over the phone or a business letter we send ahead of establishing a formal connection, are the first impressions we leave on the mind of the recipient. Then, why do we risk our reputation by doing a shoddy job when even that first instance can be used to our benefit.Becoming too friendly instead of staying professionally warm makes you cross the line of decorum making you appear as a pushover and an eager-beaver.5. Trusting the Autocorrect blindly / not using spell checkAt my first hotel job with the Hyatt Group, I was sending a note to the General Manager and I missed the crucial "l" in my designation as a terrible typographical error. Though, on hindsight, it seemed like a comical caper, at the time I was hugely embarrassed and had a tough time facing the boss for days.Autocorrect has been seen changing Goldman Sachs to Goddamn Sachs, Public to Pubic, Dear to Dead, Party to Patty and the always hilarious 'meeting with clients' to 'mating with clients.'Autocorrect has a brain of its own and is known to put not only your job in danger but destroy your painfully built reputation too. The web is filled with 'Damn You Autocorrect' sites that can help you kill time on a lazy Sunday afternoon but do not let the Computer fed, algorithmically driven Net mind to make you lose your own.In Part 2 of this article, we will look at the remaining five mistakes we commit, intentionally or inadvertently, in our communication.

Leadership Lessons from Legends!

L. Aruna Dhir - 19 September 2017
Just like in any other industry, in the world of hospitality too, there are several opportunities for us to exhibit leadership at both micro and magnum levels - as department heads, Team leaders, General Managers, Regional Heads, Brand Chiefs, COOs and CEOs.Therefore, Leaders must always remain answerable, accountable, effective and exemplary. My Maslowian Leadership Pyramid, below, outlines the progression a professional leader must make to self-actualize himself or herself -Here are ten professional traits that define a true-blue leader -Knowledge Leaders aim to be virtuosos. They train themselves to be an expert in their field; be it keeping a guest room spotlessly spic and span or managing a large hotel chain, ensuring that it stays highest ranked in any rating or recognition.The bank of knowledge keeps them ahead of the game. In their constant striving for excellence, they endeavour to break the glass ceiling. A leader sets commendable standards with his working style, his know-how and eagerness to present his best, always.Leaders are clued on to the smallest to the biggest things that happen in their business world. PRS Oberoi, the formidable owner of India's much acclaimed and awarded hotel chain named after his family, is known to let his keen eye miss absolutely nothing when on a hotel visit - from a crookedly placed rose bud in a vase to the temperature at which the finest bottle of champagne is served; from the misplaced crease on the Doorman's epaulette to the worry line on the forehead of another team member.Perpetual Learning Leaders know that the place they have reached has not come easy. They are also aware that the road ahead is going to be tough, arduous and competitive. Leaders refuse to rest on past laurels. They are mindful of the fact that their skills and the business must evolve in step with the dynamics of the world and the changing times.Besides; their drive and zeal nudges them to push the envelope of learning, mental growth and physical limits of performance.One of the finest examples of this is the life lesson left behind by Conrad Hilton. He began his hotel business with Mobley Hotel in Texas - a 40-room property that he bought in 1919. His first high-rise hotel was the Dallas Hilton that he opened in 1925 before expanding into New Mexico. However, as luck would have it, Hilton was gravely hit by the Great Depression and was forced to sell off some of his hotels so as to keep away from bankruptcy. But his exceptional hoteliering skills came in handy and he was retained as the Manager of the hotels; which he promptly bought back once the national economic state bettered and he began fairing well.Hilton went on to build hotels, grow his business admirably; such that Hilton Hotels became the first international hotel chain; no mean feat even today.Being CompetitiveNot only with others but with themselves too; in fact leaders are more with themselves. They must meet their own high expectation and come up to the level they visualize themselves at. Leaders blossom in good, honest competition. There lies an inherent eagerness to outclass andthe passion to chart new courses. The excitement of better, brighter goals keeps them motivated and stimulated.Leaders admire other skilled workers & specialists and must compete with them to get to greater heights of brilliance. This sense of competitiveness gets going the ball of learning, improving, growing into the state of work awesomeness; to the satisfaction of both the doer and the recipients.Steve Wynn, despite the hardships he steered his family out of, had the steely will and foresight to create a hotel empire that has brought him worldwide recognition and commercial success. Wynn is credited for resurrecting the internationally famous Las Vegas Strip by injecting renewed interest in the area and by creating such iconic properties as The Mirage and The Bellagio, truly among the biggest and the brightest hotels globally.Bottom-line Friendly Leaders endeavour to perform such that the outcome of their actions is always profitable. They despise anything that brings loss; in terms of bad service, inability to close the service delivery loop, losing a client, profit deficit, business failure. They are conscious of the fact that for them and others to grow and flourish, the business must remain successful.What's more, they acknowledge the fact that it is often bad actions, bad planning and bad decisions that lead to bad business. And they wish to be associated with none of these.Barry Sternlicht, often called the 'King of hotels,' put his fervent business acumen, background in real estate, fine judgement for prized properties and deep understanding for creating brands to found and grow Starwood Hotels and Resorts into one of the widest, biggest and financially successful hotel groups.Always Respond and ResolveThis is one of the most common grounds on which somebody is called a leader. Leaders bring together their learning, experience and attitude to give sensible, effective and optimum resolution to your issues. Because they have the expertise, they need not skirt the issue and hide behind files and faux reasons to escape the matter.More importantly, they hold in high esteem the tag they have earned on merit and they are not willing to lose that by being seen as laid back, inefficient, careless and non-committed. Hence, leaders always respond - to situations at hand, to people matters and to larger business issues.One of the nicer aspects of dealing with such people is that even if it is to decline or regret; leaders leave such a great after taste that you wish to do business with them again.Kemmons Wilson's personal disappointment with the kind of roadside accommodation that was available for his holiday led him to envision and create the Holiday Inn model of hotels.Stemming from his own experience, Wilson's clear cut brief for his Chain was that the properties should be standardised, clean, predictable, family-friendly and readily accessible to road travellers. From 50 hotels in 1958, 100 in 1959, 500 by 1964 and 100th Holiday Inn in 1968; today the Company has grown to be one of the world's largest hotel chains with 435,299 bedrooms in 3,463 hotels globally hosting over 100 million guest nights each year.Be S.M.A.R.TLeaders espouse the principles of S.M.A.R.T working, both in their approach and the results they show. Their performance is, indeed, specific (leaders are focused), measurable (result-orientation is a key factor for them), attainable (leaders are practical and seldom have their heads in the clouds), relevant (their efforts must bear fruits of business, satisfaction, customer retention, problem solving for themselves, the Company they represent and the guests) and time-bound (leaders apprehend the importance of time and are aware of the ills of non-deliverability or deliverability in an untimely fashion, which may be as good as task not done).One of the best known hotel trivia revolves around the genesis of the word "ritzy." It is an established fact that the usage of the term stemmed from the name of Cesar Ritz and his namesake legendary hotels he founded in Paris and London.The celebrated hotelier's life is noteworthy on so many levels. It is said that he started small and then scaled up to skyscraping heights of success with grit, determination and ingenuity that made him stand apart. Cesar Ritz began his career as a Maitre d'hotel in a restaurant before stepping up the ladder to manage hotels in Lucerne and Monaco. He built a reputation for his impeccable taste and instant rapport with wealthy guests thereby developing a profound understanding of the guests' needs and desires and pioneering the foundation of luxury as we know today - two tenets that he lent to his hotel brand.Take ChargeHave you noticed how there is that one Server who will outperform and over-deliver should things go wrong with your order at a restaurant? He will assume command over the situation, apologize sincerely, rectify the order, make certain that you are not made to wait any longer and cap it off with a comp side or dessert. He is a professional who knows his work, is in control, values you, is adept at saving the reputation of his Company and ensuring that the business stays with them and does not walk over to the Competition.In a crisis condition, have you taken note of the Security guy or Guest Relations executive who will go beyond expectation to take stock of the situation, swiftly, and then strategize to provide safety while soothing your frayed nerves with a personal touch. He or she need not be a certified Fire Fighter; it is enough that they are the best in their role, are quick to assume responsibility of their actions and do not ever mind pulling the weight of others when they fail to match up.Such professionals have a strong leadership quality even in their everyday work situations. And in times of crises, they are stars that shine out with their rock-solid resolve and stellar skills.Given this attribute, leaders impart lessons by setting an example, by being there and being available. The irresistible celebrity CEO and Visionary and now the Founder-Owner of Virgin Hotels - Sir Richard Branson has committed to be present at the opening of every Virgin hotel; much like the other great hotelier - Ritz Carlton's Herve Humler who, allegedly, never misses a hotel opening anywhere in the world, and Ritz-Carlton has so far opened about 90 hotels in 29 countries.Gain ExperienceSeveral years of hard work - first study, then practice - have gone into shaping the leader into what he is today. The professionals who lead, dip into their rich pool of experience to outshine and often go beyond the brief.Willard Marriott, as the founder of the eponymous chain, has always been considered a doyen of the international hospitality industry. But it is his son, Bill Marriott Jr., who has grown the brand into what it has become today with his insight, inclination towards a franchise model business, innovative spirit, his attention to detail and ideal work ethics.Having led the Chain for more than 50 years, from a family restaurant business to a Monolith with 3100 + properties spread across 67 countries, Bill's imprint on the Chain and the industry is so indelible that Marriott gets ranked as the "best place to work in" year after year.Be a VisionaryLeaders are on a journey - their destination is 'being the best in their field and roles;' higher after higher scales of excellence are the milestones. To be such work wizards they strategize to develop new tactics, perfect their old good practices and draw a road map that is onward bound, both in terms of productivity and passion.Conrad Hilton, one of the finest hoteliers the world has ever seen, was far-sighted and inclusive in his business approach even when his Company had not grown to the mammoth size it is now. In 1944, he established The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation with a mission to alleviate human suffering worldwide. Hilton Hotels International Company, followed in his footsteps, and furthered his goals by instituting the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize in 1996 and The Conrad N. Hilton Chair in Business Ethics and The Hilton Distinguished Entrepreneur Award in subsequent years.Leaders are far sighted and that is why they always manage to rise above the small issues and petty people with their sights aimed at bigger, more far reaching goals.Keeping the Big Picture in mindLeaders usually do not sweat over the small stuff.Their sights are set high; hence little everyday battles are simply stepping stones in their way; as it is the war of wisdom, wonderment and world class achievement that they must win.Born into the extremely wealthy and influential Astor family, John Jacob Astor IV used his rich background and enviable educational and life experience to establish new standards of luxury in the world of hoteliering. Even today, when an analogy has to be drawn for the finest standards in luxury, it is John Jacob Astor IV's two best known creations - Waldorf Astoria and St. Regis - that are cited as benchmarks. It is also known that the legendary hotelier, who the world lost in the tragic sinking of the Titanic, was multifaceted. Astor is the author of a sciencefiction novel 'A Journey in Other Worlds' (1894) about life in the year 2000 on the planets Saturn and Jupiter. With a penchant for scientific innovation, Astor is known to have patented several inventions, including a bicycle brake in 1898, a "vibratory disintegrator" and a pneumatic road-improver. He also helped in the development of turbine engine.It follows from the lives of these hotel legends that leadership stems from innate passion. It is shaped by the goals one sets for oneself. And it is polished through consistent, diligent and honest practice.There resides the potential to be a leader in all of us. The honed-over-time zeal, determination, conscientiousness and foresightedness arm us well in our aspiration to become an outstanding leader in our chosen field.
Article by L. Aruna Dhir

5 Time-tested strategies to be indispensable at Work!

L. Aruna Dhir - 13 September 2017
In any Company, there will be plain workers and then there will be the Queen Bees, the simple doers and the strategists, the satellites and the stars, the hammer-hitters and the performers, the team components and the Brand Ambassadors.The A-listers, the optimal Achievers, the Stellar performers are always considered imperative and vital for the success of the Company by the bosses and the management.We all, regardless of our areas of specialization and line of work, would like to be treated with such privilege and prestige. And it is in our hands to be the employee that no Company wishes to lose.Here follow Five time-tested strategies to always stay indispensable, no matter which company or country you work in -Know the Fundamentals and the Basics You must rear this boundless zeal in you to learn all that there is to learn about your product and Company.How many times, I cannot recall, have I seen a Concierge, Housekeeper, Server embarrassingly fumble and fail to blurt out the correct response! There have been so many occasions when a Sales Manager has given out wrong facts and figures at an important site inspection. There have been a large number of PR people callously putting down incorrect information in their press releases. I have seen Sales Directors and General Managers look towards the nearest saving assistant as they fudge data or spin a yarn to quickly fill in the gaps in the gaping holes of their sell story.It's not just us hoteliers. A similar pattern follows with people from different industries - from toothbrush to travel and food to forensics.But there is no excuse; no escaping the embarrassment we bring upon ourselves when we turn up in our green-horned, half baked avatars.It is our duty, well almost a moral binding, to know our product and our company like the back of our hands - every factoid, every star performer who is such an astral brand up-sell, every interesting gem of a story that went into making what we are and yes, most importantly all the warts that we must be on a war path to remove permanently.Know your guestsKnowing your guests is akin to knowing your job. Whatever you do in your different departments - creating recipes or collateral, devising sales strategies, reinforcing security plans, developing innovative standards of service, introducing new concepts and products, changing draperies or dresses - you do it for your guests. In fact they are the only reason for your existence and for ensuring that your business sails or tanks.Hotels that make sure that all their staff cross map the guests and get to know them well, not only come out on top at most reader surveys and awards but also have a healthy bottom-line, regardless of the seasonal factors.Most of the illustrious General Managers I have worked with urged me to work the lobby in order to greet and meet guests and put aside decent amount of time to spend with the guests. That is one of the sanest times invested in one's job as you learn so much about what the guests really want and take their feedback and suggestions to the relevant forums. You get to share right information about your hotel with the right audience in the most focused and targeted manner at the right time. This also allows for a two-way feel-good exchange that promises to have a long-standing reach and penetration far more than any advertising or marketing thrust would aspire to have.Know your ColleaguesHotels are one of the most people-centric industries. Most organizations have the luxury of a weekend but hotels work round the clock, with end of the week days getting busier. What's more, a hotel never goes to sleep. This nature of business ensures that you are in contact with your colleagues all the time and that there are too many of those colleagues around. It then becomes essential to know your colleagues well, more in this work milieu.Knowing your team mates across departments and cadres is an extremely profitable proposition. Of course you need to know different people to different levels of familiarity - from pleasant exchanges in the corridor (please do get away from the cursory nods and build upon this little window of opportunity) with some and getting together with a sense of bonhomie in the staff cafeteria with few others to building lasting bonds (some of which can grow to include the families) with those that you frequently work closely with. Decide on the level you want to get to, judiciously, professionally and with reason.Harbouring a sincere and friendly disposition, being approachable, being a congenial personality and a caring person and having a helpful, down to earth nature considerably increases your likeability quotient. This helps widen your circle from top to bottom and creates a good vibe around you.Knowing your colleagues eases the atmosphere, makes the work environment conducive, dissolves crisis situations, makes things less strenuous and actually injects the element of cheerfulness and fun into toughest of work conditions. Some prominent hotel chains around the world have penciled out an exemplary blueprint for their "know your employee" policy so much that your performance on this attribute can wing its way into your appraisal!Know the other Product / Company betterThis is a two-edged sword in our armoury. By knowing our competition better, we know clearly what we are doing right. More significantly, competition knowledge helps us realize and rectify what we may be doing wrong. And that is a big step forward.FAMs of new properties and restaurants in town or other cities are such a great learning exercise. First hand exposure is, indeed, an indelible imprint on one's mind that promises to stay with you for a long time.When I was going off on my overseas Scholarship, my boss at the time suggested I get in touch with sister hotels, part of the Leading Hotels of the World association that we were a member of, for possible stays so that I could have an up, close and personal look at some of the world's best run establishments. An invaluable tip that has left behind some priceless lessons on the best practices adopted by significant others in business!No amount of marketing literature, PR collateral, website interface and 360 degree views can take place of what you experience in flesh and blood.Finally, make yourself indispensable as far as possibleNone of us are really that prime and pivotal in any of the personal or professional roles we play, that we or our roles cannot be done away with. That is a sordid fact of life. Yet, we must endeavour to be as difficult to replace as possible if we wish to make a success of our chosen paths.And that involves shaking up our old, jaded practices; taking ourselves away from the comfort of inertia into the realm of the yet undiscovered. It incorporates restructuring our strategies and allowing ourselves to grow upwards learning new things along the way and challenging ourselves each and every day.In my last role, I wrote manuals and advertising copy - something that an agency would have traditionally done, wrote out business pitches for hotel chain tie-ups, learned enough about art to conduct an intelligent art tour for an audience ranging from royalty (the Princess of Thailand) to Young Business Leaders and an American Think tank, amongst a host of other luminaries.I have seen a Sales Colleague get passionate about making Financial Review presentations and writing Due Diligence proposals. It came as no surprise, then, when he joined a major global company in a senior role of international development and strategic planning.I have witnessed the blossoming of a shy General Manager who fought and overcame his innate inhibition to transform himself into a fine public speaker.I have watched the growth trajectory of an F&B colleague who initially performed below par in his own department perhaps because he kept up a lackadaisical attitude; but take on the mantle of officiating General Management with such gusto, zeal and enthusiasm that he won plaudits not just from his fellow colleagues but also the GM, the owners and the guests at large. Today he manages an award-winning resort for one of the top ten hotel companies.I have noticed with admiration the Executive Housekeeper come out of the shell of her traditional role and expectation and branch out in the area of Revenue Management and the larger Rooms Division responsibility. She pushed herself out of her self-limiting boundaries of satisfaction and contentment and untiringly worked at making herself more valuable and significant.Go ahead and strategize yourself and your unique offerings such that you become hard to be replaced with.Your professional destiny is really in the cup of your palms, the lines notwithstanding; and in the set of choices you make!

Do you make the SOCIAL MEDIA work for you?

Power of Public Relations - By L. Aruna Dhir - 6 September 2017
We start each morning with an honourable intention to draw out and follow a sacrosanct to-do list and make it the most meaningful and productive day. We all seem to understand, only too well, the importance of setting priorities, maintaining discipline, being focussed, consistently perseverant and goal oriented. Yet, the moment the morning starts progressing into the day, our will begins to wither, the determination gets embattled by the urge to click elsewhere and the spirit starts slackening.

5 Ways to never be out of a Job!

Power of Public Relations - By L. Aruna Dhir - 25 August 2017
A Big Gun’s head has rolled in the international hospitality playfield. It is one of the bigger exits by way of the profile of the Company and the stature of the person. The man has held a strong reputation in the industry. He has a proven track record and is well-respected. He has often, in the past, proven his meritocracy via his experience and expertise and added magic figures to the bottom line. Still, the door is being shown to him. Must all of us be prone to getting the pink slip, at some stage in our careers? Must the ‘sword of sack’ always hang perilously over our heads? There must be something surely, that we can keep up at, so as to be able to leave just when we want to, on a positive note, with a warm handshake and a promise to meet again at another crossroad. Could the following be some of the important things we can do to keep our jobs?

5 Ways to never be out of a Job!

L. Aruna Dhir - 23 August 2017
A Big Gun's head has rolled in the international hospitality playfield. It is one of the bigger exits by way of the profile of the Company and the stature of the person.The man has held a strong reputation in the industry. He has a proven track record and is well-respected. He has often, in the past, proven his meritocracy via his experience and expertise and added magic figures to the bottom line. Still, the door is being shown to him.Must all of us be prone to getting the pink slip, at some stage in our careers? Must the 'sword of sack' always hang perilously over our heads?There must be something surely, that we can keep up at, so as to be able to leave just when we want to, on a positive note, with a warm handshake and a promise to meet again at another crossroad. Could the following be some of the important things we can do to keep our jobs?Stay relevantThe dynamics of businesses are in a constant state of change. Innovations and the latest R&D ensure that we must continually upgrade our product. Further, wide exposure, varied experiences, cross-cultural influences and personal demands bring about frequent changes in the needs and desires of the guests. They are demands that products and facilities, endorsed by the guests, must meet and satisfy.Furthermore, the profile of our customers keeps changing - we not only keep adding new segments to our guest pie but even the existing customers bring in their bagful of new wishes and expectations.Suffice it to say that our business is in a consistent cycle of evolution. Therefore we, as significant cogs in the wheel, must stay relevant and ready to address these changes that spell growth.Ask yourself! When the great wheels of motion, brought about by the intense winds of positioning and the cyclonic pressures of competition, churn with momentum, are you prepared to realign yourself both tactically and strategically? Only those of us who are; will continue to remain useful to the organizations we work for?If yes, then you are there for good!Keep your contact database updatedRegardless of the changes in the way we communicate and stay in touch in these digitally-heightened times, a rolodex or the cards-holder as a time-tested contraption to help us stay connected will never go out of fashion; as long as we continue to display our professional identities through our 'calling cards.'In hotels, a lot of people do each other's jobs which were heretofore considered traditional territories. Think Sales, Public Relations, Guest Services. Now, reflect on how many times aFront Office clerk or a Housekeeping executive has initiated a deal! With this sort of multi-functionality at play, a professional is most dynamic when he keeps his rolodex ship-shape, weeded out and up to speed with any fluctuation in his contact database.And who is the smartest sales person? It is the one who cross intersects the contact base from various departments, collects gems of information and reaps benefit by mining it wisely.I have outsmarted myself on two distinct scores at different places of work. As a Media Relations Officer at the Australian Diplomatic Mission in India, I set about creating a magnum opus of a media list. Apart from the regular suspects, the list also had residence address and number, spouse name, birth date and anniversary date. Of course, it was a time consuming exercise and done without the help of an assistant (the High Comm. had a no secretary policy).I, often, insisted on speaking with the targeted journalist / editor to get the information. At the end of it, I had invested enough time to get to know the person better. 'The' list, indeed, paved the way for fostering a great relationship. To this day, well 20 years after, I still count a lot of people on that list as good friends or business associates as the case may be.Another time, I made an ambitious plan to make a giant database of guest contacts, pooling information from my own office, the General Manager's, Sales, Front Office, F&B and the Guest Relations departments. I set about putting all relevant information - from likes and dislikes to allergies and tiniest of preferences. Of course information on important dates in the guest's life was de rigueur.And to make it one mean list, I also put all the relevant data around the guest's virtual avatar. A list, such as this, kept in its most healthy and up-to-date condition is an extremely potent arsenal for conducting the business of hoteliering.NetworkThe database is only as good as the use it is put to. A good list of contacts that is allowed to sit out for long and gather dust is a career-killer.In most businesses, but primarily in industries such as hospitality, Networking is simply butter to our bread, with the propensity to elevate a simple interaction to a business proposition.There is a plethora of people to network with - colleagues from other departments, team mates from sister hotels in the chain, most definitely guests - all kinds viz. room, restaurant, Spa or those visiting any other facility offered by your hotel, the media, members of the fraternity, community folk, people from allied industries - travel agents, government bodies, tour operators, tourism boards and international travel associations.I find networking to be one of the best real-time teachers, imparting valuable lessons that you imbibe both consciously and subliminally. Besides, networking keeps you in the circuit, ensures top of the mind recall for you and your brand and provides a ready track for two-way information sharing.Finally, in the present times of one-touch, instant communication, there is no excuse for not staying networked with the right audience. The only downside of this, perhaps, maybe that you must watch for the overkill!Keep your ears, eyes and mind openThe above should, in any case, be a mantra for your life in general. It, undoubtedly, pays richly to keep your senses sharp, soaking in important information, new knowledge and experiences as you go up and along.While at work in a people-rich environment, you must be aware of the concentric and intersecting circles the human equations work in. You must learn to accept peculiarities and idiosyncrasies, be receptive of behavioural differences, take the high road more often than not and be a great team player in the dynamics of the disparate smorgasbord of attitudes and aspirations.Keeping your ears and eyes open also helps you be in touch with the grapevine - certainly an inevitable, irresistible and often the main source of information regarding important goings-on and changes in the offing.But the most important thing is to keep your mind open and be amenable to changes, novel additions to your work life, new colleagues, new way of doing things and of the evolutionary aspect of business as it gets ready to fight new competition and meet its vision headlong.Learn new techniques, tricks and tacticsYes, it is a fact of life. Change is, truly, the only constant. As time goes, we stay in a continuous state of churning. Everyone and everything - our vision, our projection, the way we do our business, demands on us, guest expectation, technology, creative influences, benchmarks, our aspirations from the brand value and the bottom line - yes, we all are in a state of upward progression.That is why we must be perpetual learners, adding new skills to our repertoire. As a PR Specialist, I know that I must become adept at the social media, website management, SEO, photo editors, publishing tools, webinars, video conferencing, virtual meets et. al.A Sales resource must be as proficient in the traditional sales strategies as in Digital marketing, TripAdvisor, Reputation and Social media management, prompt addressing of comments left behind on the Company website or elsewhere.It pays for a Concierge or Guest Relations executive to be multi-lingual. This holds true for a lot of other team members too. At hotels, not only do we work in a multinational / multicultural environment, our guests too fly in from all corners of the globe. It is a given that speaking in someone's native tongue is an instant connector breaking down most other barriers.The General Manager has to be a jack of all trades, mastering new facets from all departments so as to be efficient enough to captain his ship.One of the finest practices an erstwhile boss had adopted was to share a lot of information covering all departments with his team. We were a part of his change agent team working at re-launching a brand and he made sure that each of us kept up our eagerness to learn what was happening around us in the other areas.I remember being reprimanded by the French boss when I came for the morning meeting through the lobby failing to notice the spectacular flower show-stopper that had been put together by the newly hired Floral Artists. The GM kept up with his incessant reminders for us to branch out and develop a keen interest in all the other functions of the hotel, prohibiting us from becoming the proverbial ostriches.Today, when I write informative articles about General Hotel Management and find my pieces used as case studies by hotel schools, I have a lot to thank the GM and his ways for.Do reflect on these tips to bridge the gap between your efforts and expected rewards. And try them out as a professional strategy for not only keeping yourself firmly ensconced in your business chair but to put yourself in the reckoning for greater returns.
Article by L. Aruna Dhir

Do you GOSSIP at work? And why you should not?

L. Aruna Dhir - 25 July 2017
Wikipedia gives the following formal definition of gossip, "Gossip consists of casual or idle talk between friends. While ostensibly value neutral, the term often specifically refers to talk of scandal, slander, or schadenfreude relating to known associates of the participants, and discussed in an underhand or clandestine manner."Gossip has a negative connotation. Yet, we continue to engage in it, both personally and professionally. On a professional level Gossip begins to assume disastrous proportions.Gossip is always perilous, it educates and informs little, entertains some and damages a whole lot more.Nonetheless, we all, regardless of our stature and station in life, dip into the dirt-pool of baseless dialogues; bringing our personal value down and putting a blemish on our professional face."Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people," said Socrates.So why do we, at the risk of either facing the uncalled harm of gossip or ourselves fabricating the vicious web of grapevine, participate in it? A study of human behavior and an honestintrospection into our own psyche would help us attribute the following reasons, for not just general folk but even seasoned professionals, to get into gossip -1. Misplaced prioritiesGiven the times we live and work in, we always have more on our plate than the time and tools to accomplish it. We subscribe to online lessons, enlist ourselves in management workshops, make diligent to-do-lists and pool in all our zest and zeal to prioritize a zillion tasks that must be completed.Still, at the faintest hint of inducement, we give in easily to lending an ear or adding our voice to the titter-tatter that may be going around.We must not forget that professionals who are truly busy and result-oriented will never dither away precious opportunities by letting virtual or real-time chitchat come in the way. They would, rather, involve themselves in more useful and productive work."When of a gossiping circle it was asked, what are they doing? The answer was, Swapping lies," Richard Brinsley Sheridan.2. Misuse of timeWe all lament about how little time we have to complete our important assignments, work on our essential chores and to create a healthy work-life balance. We chirp in about 24 hours in a day being too little and marvel at those who continue to climb mountains and run marathons while still holding important positions in their professions.And yet, in the next second, we will stop the work at hand to add our two cents to an ongoing mindless debate on our social media platforms or hang around designated corners in office to network through the unofficial and ungainly channels of scuttlebutt.Professionals who are time-conscious and excel in time management will never allow this precious, constantly depleting resource to slip through their deft hold."The things most people want to know about are usually none of their business," George Bernard Shaw.3. InsecurityThe overly used 'FOMO' - fear of missing out - at the center of our insecurities has, often, pushed us in the direction of gossip.Are we the target of the over-the-cubicle exchange? What are we not aware of and should know; just to get on an even platform? Should we not be getting on this bandwagon to just stay in the loop, keep in the reckoning and perhaps be relevant?Such thoughts dog us incessantly and feed into our insecurity. But this chain of thought is only for those who are not skilled, self-sure and steady on their own feet.A true professional jumps over the back-fence talk, dives into the significant stuff and is steadfast in the face of any swaying sensationalism that may be at play."I maintain that, if everyone knew what others said about him, there would not be four friends in the world," Blaise Pascal.4. Sense of PowerGossip-mongering provides us an affected sense of importance and power as we seem to be the holder of some information, however incorrect it may be. It gives you a false sense of a skewed social standing. "Isn't it kind of silly to think that tearing someone else down builds you up?" asked Sean Covey.Weak workers often resort to this tactic to bring one-upmanship to themselves, to make feeble attempts to get closer to the Top Dog and to pull the competition at workplaces down by attempting to soil reputations."Gossips are worse than thieves because they steal another person's dignity, honor, reputation and credibility, which are impossible to restore. So remember this: When your feet slip, you can always recover your balance but when your tongue slips you cannot recover your words," Anonymous 5. An inherent sense of curiosityPeople who employ themselves in gossip elevate it to the level of a social / interpersonal skill. "I have this story / information to share (and most often IT IS a rumoured story). So what's yours?""So and so is getting promoted out of turn, really?""Is she being sent to Geneva for the Conference? No surprise there. She has been brown-nosing the boss.""Is he really being offered all those extra perks with his package?""Is the GM being sent on a punishment posting because he sparred with the owner?"And on and on we go - every day, at every given opportunity, with or without any stake in the matter."Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas," Marie Curie.6. Predisposing factorsWe may have, very well, seen our parents / teachers / family members gleefully take part in it and that may have conditioned us in developing a mindset that there is nothing wrong for us to enter the groove of gossip. A lot of our behavior is learned from our personal circle of influencers and it starts early from the time our cognitive abilities begin to take shape.Given the rampancy with which we indulge in it, it appears that the less ethical, less strong and less professional among us are in a way wired genetically to behave so abominably.But professionals who are self-contained, self-proud and actualized would seldom partake of such pitiable prattle. They would, instead, endeavour to create a cohesive workforce that delivers to make their organization the finest place to work in."Often those that criticize others reveal what he himself lacks," Shannon L. Alder.7. Entertainment valueThe habitual babblers, heck even most of us, see a high level of entertainment value in gossip. A lot of us find it more amusing than a good film or a good read or a good piece of music. After all, it is easily accessible, provides cheap humour, piques our interest and is absolutely free.It does take willpower, practice and sanity to stay away from such spicy, slanderous slush and maintain decorum at no cost or compromise."Gossip is a sort of smoke that comes from the dirty tobacco-pipes of those who diffuse it: it proves nothing but the bad taste of the smoker," George Eliot.8. HabitWe all know that old habits die hard. If gossiping becomes a habit for whatever reason, it is difficult to unlearn it. We, voluntarily, feed on it and allow the unprincipled habit to prey on our professionalism.It takes time and tenacity to break or build any habit. Gossiping is no different. But it is in our own big interest to change if we have already succumbed to this ugly habit or steel up and steer away if we have not yet been sucked in."Gossip is the opiate of the oppressed," Erica Jong.9. Peer pressureWe see people in our subset of contacts at work and socially, enjoy a good piece of gossip and keep the ball rolling and we feel compelled to belong.Peer pressure has been a nemesis from the time we were young; pushing and pulling us into directions good and bad.Regardless of our age and experience, the third rung on Maslow's Pyramid continues to dictate the choices we make and the decisions we take.To recognize such pressures, to identify the right set of people to align with, to lead with one's ethical best practices and not follow as part of a herd is what professionalism is all about."And all who told it added something new, and all who heard it, made enlargements too," Alexander Pope.10. Negative trait / Devilish streakPerhaps there is that, so far loosely defined, gene of negativity in all of us that urges us to hurt, harm and be hellish even when we have no concrete reason or motive to bitch and babble.But the main purpose of an advancing person and professional, and the natural progression of any human being are to evolve, grow and realize one's full potential. This is only possible when we bring in all our consciousness and channelize our skills and attributes into an upwardly developing value system; thereby creating and reinforcing a positive work environment for ourselves and others to thrive in."They come together like the Coroner's Inquest, to sit upon the murdered reputations of the week," William Congreve.As stated above, gossip is a negative energy that corrodes the very core of a good organization and shafts through healthy relationships among colleagues.Bad organizations and fragile professionals temporarily thrive in gossip before being annihilated by its negative forces. Good organizations and strong professionals shun away from such malpractice and abolish it before it begins to bud."It is just as cowardly to judge an absent person as it is wicked to strike a defenseless one. Only the ignorant and narrow-minded gossip, for they speak of persons instead of things," Lawrence G. Lovasik.Why do you think we, as professionals, dabble in gossip? Do share your thoughts.Note - This article may not be reproduced without the permission of the author.

11 Business Mantras that make you a Market Leader!

Power of Public Relations - By L. Aruna Dhir - 21 July 2017
Brand Mission Statements and Brand Philosophy are often common sense rules that help us look above the clutter. They streamline our functioning into significant result orientation enmeshed with the Company or industry Best Practices. Companies that succeed as market leaders are those that fine tune the smallest aspects and fit them well and cohesively into their Big Picture. It could be such a small thing as flowers placed straight in a vase on a guest table, or maintaining the right temperature of the hot/cold towels in the Hotel limousine or making sure that the steward is well-trained in serving at just the right angle, without letting his livery brush against the guest or the dish he is serving from.

Would you like to make your Organization the best? Here's how!

Power of Public Relations - By L. Aruna Dhir - 6 July 2017
Organizations we work in are much more than structures of mortar, glass and steel. They are actually living things that breathe, inhale and exhale energy and embody characteristics and emotions mirroring all of us who come in and work here. The kind of Organizations we represent can be underlined in three important constituent elements -  Progressive Organizations as edifices of good energy.  Complex Organizations as matrixes of dynamic traits and mindsets of its workforce.  Individual-focused Organizations with significance to the unique disposition and value that each of us brings. We, as complex beings, need to be mindful of all these elements. Progressive Organizations as edifices of good energy People-centric organizations such as hotels, hospitals, educational institutions and the like are a world unto themselves. These are people-rich businesses like no other - both on the inside and out - such that for them to be a successful and harmonious venture there must be thor

Surefire ways to kill your business and reputation!

Power of Public Relations - By L. Aruna Dhir - 5 July 2017
Business is built on trust inculcated in the customer for the products the businesses sell. The success factor of any business depends on the brand value that the Business promises to deliver to the guest. This value is always defined from the perspective of the guest. The smooth running and profitability of any business is based on the efficient, hitch free movement of the supply chain taken care of by capable and diligent employees who own their roles and embody the essence of the brand principles. It is employees who aim to raise their own standard of work and attitude to the level of an exemplary Brand Ambassador, that are the treasured lot upholding the Brand reputation and ensuring a healthy bottom-line. When these Brand Ambassadors do not uphold the brand flag and become less than competent and conscientious, the Brand value of the business, the Brand promise to the guest, Brand loyalty from the guests and Brand reputation in the minds of all stakeholders take a nosedive

Rule # 2 to be an Outstanding Professional!

Power of Public Relations - By L. Aruna Dhir - 5 July 2017
Organizations are really microcosms of the larger world we inhabit; with a dense matrix and complicated equations. We bring our individual personas cloaked in a professional garb into the work space. We enmesh our personal attributes, values and inclinations with the organizational culture and ethos. Those organizations that create an atmosphere of harmony between the values of the individual and the company always turn out to be successful enterprises. And those where dissonance rules the roost, not only stay nothing more than revolving doors for the employees but also perform miserably in the financial terms appearing poor in their business standing.

Rule # 1 to be an Outstanding Professional!

Power of Public Relations - By L. Aruna Dhir - 5 July 2017
We live in the times of Life coaches and Professional evangelists who spin yarn after yarn of traditional wisdom into new fabric to use as a mental veil or forehead blinkers for their followers. Yes, most of what they say or write goes to develop more of a herd mentality than serve to open up our minds. In the same vein the business model that started with the likes of Dale Carnegie and Norman Vincent Peale, with the Commercial industry of Self help books, has only made these Help Gurus richer. The fad is so pervasive and continuing that there has to be at least one ‘How To’ book on our night stands even today.

Five Basic Steps to stay ahead of Competition in 2017 and beyond!

Power of Public Relations - By L. Aruna Dhir - 5 July 2017
Hospitality is a dynamic business that runs double speed just to stay firmly in place. It is, forever, under the influence of forces that urge it to embrace change more frequently than most other industries. First of all, it is the customer base that demands change or updation continually; then the other hotels in the region or elsewhere that push you to look within and finally the times that tend to get dated faster than you can plan and implement.

24 Fundamental Principles to help you Stay Ahead!

Power of Public Relations - By L. Aruna Dhir - 5 July 2017
Perhaps the strongest trait that I have carried with me throughout my professional journey is having a ‘Fresh pair of eyes.’ When I sought to move from an Embassy job to the hotel industry, Hyatt International took a chance with me, bringing a rank outsider into a team of experienced hoteliers. What helped was my deep sense of curiosity about everything around me, which translated into an eagerness to learn the ropes of a new trade, and to acquire the skills needed for me to ‘give my best shot’ in terms of the defined KRAs.

Five things that will always stay in style in Hoteliering!

Power of Public Relations - By L. Aruna Dhir - 5 July 2017
Marketers shape our demands by enticing us with their company’s R&D and innovation. There is always the latest trend, fad or gizmo vying for our wallet. But the marketers know that regardless of the novelty, the snazziness, the glitz and the glamour; all their products will have to go through the tried and tested touchstone of purpose, use, relevance and effectiveness. Perhaps that may be the number one reason, why companies bring back on demand the bygones as the newest fad in an almost cyclic fashion.

Why do Professionals GOSSIP!

Power of Public Relations - By L. Aruna Dhir - 5 July 2017
Gossip, almost always, has a negative connotation. Yet, we continue to engage in it, both personally and professionally. While ‘small talk’ or ‘blether-blather’ on a personal level is detrimental too; on a professional level it begins to assume disastrous proportions. Still, there continue to be hushed conversations at the Water cooler, free-wheeling un-bonafide exchanges in the Locker, unabashed and unsubstantiated chinwags in cubicles and perilous Chinese whispers that educate and inform little, entertain some and damage a whole lot more. The most common definition of Gossip is that it is ‘idle chatter’ or ‘dirty linen’ and it is called so for a reason. We all know whose workshop an idle mind is and Chatter does not even have the respectability of conversation. So why do we still plunge into it?

The Ultimate Luxury Hoteliering 101! Part 2

Power of Public Relations - By L. Aruna Dhir - 4 July 2017
What is it that the luxury traveller really seeks from his hotel experience? When money is not the consideration, what do premium places of stay bring out on the silver platter to this discerning set of guests for whom luxury is a way of life? How do you define luxury in hospitality? Is it the history or reputation, location or view, brand value or affiliation, star employees or infrastructure and furnishings, the period furniture you sleep and rest on, the crystal ware, silverware, precious metal flatware you eat and drink from, the finest fittings and fixtures that assist you as you relax or conduct your usual business. In reality, the luxury world of hoteliering is all this and more. While all of the above aspects make the luxury brand stand apart from competition also within their genre, the bottom line for top-of-the-line luxury rests on the time-tested virtues that truly are very basic in the business of hospitality - cleanliness, efficiency, very well-trained and knowled

The Ultimate Luxury Hoteliering 101! Part 1

Power of Public Relations - By L. Aruna Dhir - 4 July 2017
I was recently invited by a leading Hospitality Industry Portal to offer my thoughts on how hotels can provide the best brand experience for their guests; what really goes into true customer satisfaction and what do the world’s best hotels really do, so discerningly, to be slotted as top luxury hotel companies? It set me thinking about what hotels think is a luxury experience for their guests, vis-à-vis the guests’ actual expectation of luxury. Is it the Carrara marble carted all the way from Italy, the bespoke scent developed in step with a celebrated Parfumer, glasses blown especially by a lineage rich craftsman in Murano, the exquisite crystal from Baccarat, the priceless lights from Lalique, the made-to-order toiletries from Bvlgari?

Professional Traits that define a Leader!

Power of Public Relations - By L. Aruna Dhir - 4 July 2017
Leaders in a group, community, company or country have a huge responsibility to carry on their professional shoulders. Always in the public and camera eye, they seem to be working in a glass cubicle and hence must remain answerable, accountable, effective and exemplary. Leadership is not usually a legacy that we are bestowed upon with. It is a role we aspire to, work towards and attain through experience, intelligence, astuteness and by proving our usefulness for the bigger responsibilities such a stature brings.

What Do the World's best Hotels and Hoteliers have in Common? Part 2 - The Brand 'Big Picture'!

Power of Public Relations - By L. Aruna Dhir - 4 July 2017
Hoteliering is indeed an exciting line of business, far detached from the ho-hum and banality of a lot of other businesses. There is never a dull moment, with each department running itself into a frenzy of heightened activity. There is always that mad dash to deliver the service to the most discerning of guests and to present the brand values in the best way possible.

What Do the World's best Hotels and Hoteliers have in Common? Part 1 - The Brand Basics!

Power of Public Relations - By L. Aruna Dhir - 4 July 2017
The business of hoteliering dates back to the time when the first explorer trudged into a strange, undiscovered land and, wishing to put up his tired, over-wrought feet on a comfortable bed, sauntered into a kind man’s front yard seeking a bed for his body and bread for his hungry stomach. Or perhaps, it all began with the wandering cowboy in the Wild West, who wishing to escape the law, sought refuge on the top floor of a drinking salon, paying for the shave, rounds of drink and a meal before he rode off. Whatever may have been the first reason for its genesis, man soon realized that this was a lucrative business that he could get into.

What Does an Iconic Hotel look like? Part 2 - The 'soul' of a Brand!

Power of Public Relations - By L. Aruna Dhir - 4 July 2017
Moving up their own Maslow’s Pyramid of “existential” Hierarchy, hotels have been differentiating themselves from each other, some famously growing to rise to the top of the competitive heap to become the finest, the best, and the iconic. The Raffles in Singapore, The Peninsula in Hong Kong, the Oriental in Bangkok, The Ritz in Paris, the Beverly Hills Hotel in California, Copacabana Palace in Brazil, Hotel Cipriani in Venice – are all icons and legends. So what makes them so?

What Does an Iconic Hotel look like? Part 1 - The 'substance' of a Brand!

Power of Public Relations - By L. Aruna Dhir - 4 July 2017
The business of hoteliering, perhaps, dates back to the time when the first explorer trudged into a vacant room seeking refuge in order to rest and recuperate. With growing demand and a motley bag of customers who came with their distinct charter of needs and wishes, the ‘hoteliers’ began evolving. The professional hotel owners began to define and refine what – just a place to stay in and eat at – could begin to mean and deliver. With every pioneering entrant’s stroke of genius, talent and serendipitous discovery there began distinctions and classifications that set one apart from the other; while still serving the basic needs of food and shelter.

THE SWANK AND SWAGGER OF NEW MEDIA!

Power of Public Relations - By L. Aruna Dhir - 4 July 2017
The real-time value of New Media is unsurpassed. Everything in it happens in the realm of “here and now.” Your news is as new or old as your last post or blog or tweet. Sites such as Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube have heralded the coming in of Web 2.0 – a whole new world that provides excellent chances and opens up new vistas for a Media Manager. With the onset of Social Media in the arena of media coverage and planning, a PR Professional must be adept at handling each of these avenues.

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