Tag Archives: blogging

Guest Blogger: Valentina Griffin from InterNations

19 Aug

A couple weeks ago I was asked by InterNations to do a promotional exchange, InterNations would include my blog on their site and I would have one of their bloggers contribute a blog post to my blog. This is a great way to gain more exposure for both InterNations and myself. Throughout my career I’ve always worked hard to connect brands, people, issues, and products to niche audiences in order to create more of an impact. InterNations itself has had an important impact on expats, creating a community in order for them to feel more comfortable in a new place. I truly believe in InterNations mission, which is why I’ve decided to partner up with them.

Check out Valentina Griffin’s post about assisting those who are far away from home!!

Lending a Helping Hand to Expats

by Valentina Griffin

Think back to your first day of school. Most of us felt squeamish and nervous and didn’t know what to expect from this so-called “school”. Mom and/or Dad would bring you to school, say “good luck and have fun” and disappear. Luck? Fun? All you wanted to do was go back and sit in the neighbor’s sandbox counting bugs – or brushing Barbie’s hair…

Let’s take away the Barbie, the sandbox, Mom and Dad and the school and just leave that feeling behind. Isn’t that kind of what moving abroad is like? You are thrown into a completely new environment: you may not know the language, the people, the customs, the architecture; this all may seem quite strange. Despite the fact that you are much older and wiser now, the initial pinprick of fear is still there: facing the unknown.

In a world where globalization is as familiar a term as breakfast, moving overseas to a new country for work is nothing out of the ordinary. Yet the feeling of being a little lost and needing a helping hand will probably never go away. Regardless of whether or not one is a veteran expat, it would still be nice to know that there are people out there in your shoes. Well, there are! And you can meet them at InterNations, the largest online social network that connects over 300,000 expats with one another.

InterNations wants to help expats lose that first-day-of-school feeling. Members of almost every conceivable nationality and living in over 270 Communities worldwide can exchange information, experiences, ideas, tips and tricks, or just chat about life as an expat in general on the InterNations World and Local Forums or via private message.

Globalization, in part, has become such a norm due to the impressive advances that technology has made in the last decades. It is hard to imagine someone in the modern world not possessing a mobile phone or having Internet and communicating via e-mail. Yet at the same time the Internet sometimes makes it too easy on one. People get lazy about keeping social contacts and networking in person. To prevent personal contact from completely dying out, InterNations has established regular monthly Events in all of its 270 Communities across the globe. Here members can meet face-to-face, network, make business contacts, and, best of all, meet friends, all the while enjoying each other’s company and an after-work drink.

InterNations membership is by invitation only, which protects its members and ensures that they have a global outlook and international experience and are open to enriching their minds, while simultaneously guarantees the quality of the website. It is InterNations’ intention to act as the parents of the kindergarten child who say “good luck, have fun and everything will be alright, we are here for you”.

Creating a Blog for a Hotel

17 Apr


So the hotel you work for has asked you to start a blog, so how do you start? Well that’s–either go to WordPress, Blogger or Tumbler and open up an account and blog away.

Well it’s a little bit more complicated than that as Social Media Guru Brian Solis explains in one of his blog posts,”Think about a blogging strategy. Sit down with the executive and marketing team, including PR and Web. Chart-out an official plan, identify prospective participants and writers, and dedicate time to making it happen! Work with sales and customer service to learn the real pain-points and needs of the market. Capture it, distill it, and publish often. Most importantly, read the comments and interact. It can only help.

At the end of the day, any company reaching business customers should take the time to understand how their products and services can help them succeed. Blogging is about embracing this unique technology and strategically and carefully opening up windows to expose the corporate culture. Acquiesce the successes and failures of your corporate evolution, in order to prove that your experience and leadership skills are legitimate, respectable, and most importantly, in line with your customer’s objectives.

A hotel needs to always keep 3 things in mind when blogging brand-building, keyword-rich and social media-integrated..

For example if the hotel you work for is a 5 star luxurious hotel then make sure all the blogs posts have that air of royalty meaning that the tone must be more formal or sophisticated. Your brand has a lot to do with the type of guest you tend to attract or would like to attract so keep the target audience in mind when blogging.

Once all the blog contributors understand the hotel’s brand and who it’s target audience it’s then time to get creative. Running a hotel requires many employees all working together to make sure each guest in the end is satisfied. I’m sure employees have many stories about their interactions with guests so why not blog about those encounters.

Also in a new Survey from Travelzoo found that 64% of people say hotel prices are more important than the destination when choosing holidays. The survey, which examined consumer behaviour, found that most holiday planning was based on price and user reviews.Of those surveyed, 93% compared prices before booking and 81% used hotel review sites.

Since people are interested in prices include words like, “deals, discounts, half-price, and contests”.  Also link those key words to the type of product, event or food they can get for the money they’re spending on the hotel.  Not all blogs should be about deals but at least make sure a few posts are about them.

Before starting the blog take a month to train all the blog contributors about the hotel, SEO (key words), and the frequency of posting. During that month invite the bloggers to meet some of  the hotel staff so they’ll know who to ask about certain issues.

After the training sessions the blogger should have a better idea of what he or she will blog about for the first month. Monthly meetings with the bloggers and the hotel staff should be built into the “blog  plan”, a good way to keep the blogger in the loop.

Remember there are millions of blogs out there so make sure your blog is one of those that  stands out by clearly stating the hotel’s brand!!!

Flip Cameras are a great invention!!

20 Oct

Yesterday I  read this blog entry, Using the Power of Video, and it caught my attention. I recently just bought a flip camera and it’s the best thing ever.

A PR professional should not just write but use the many different tools at its disposal. It turns out, most of the population prefers to watch video…especially if it’s something they can have on in the background while they do other work.

Remember people grasp things in different ways. For example I’m more of a visual learner in which I prefer to see someone explaining something to me.  My advise is to mix up the blog with videos , pictures, graphics, livestreaming, music….whatever you can!

This is just a fun video I made after the world cup.