Blackbook Innovation for Online Reputation and Social Media Management

Social media is, well, social media. You can’t avoid and everyone’s talking about it. My biggest headache is that there’s just too much of it! Stepping up to the plate are the social media monitoring companies with sophisticated software to help refine and summarize the endlessness of online data. However, this is a relatively new field, and as a result, innovation and evolution are unremitting qualities. Circos Brand Karma ( is one such company that is on the vanguard. I’ve written on their services in the past. Now, with the launch of their Blackbook Reports analytics tool, I reached out to Senior Vice President, Jamie Pagel, to expand on some of the latest industry trends and what his product can do. Start with the elevator pitch. What’s Blackbook and how will it help? Brand Karma was one of the first in the social media monitoring and analytics for hotels space. …

Larry MogelonskyBlackbook Innovation for Online Reputation and Social Media Management

In Vino Veritas Part VI – Whiskeys

I know what you’re thinking: another chapter in a series not related to wine – the ‘vino’ part of the title. Why are whiskeys relevant? In same vein as micro-brewed or craft beers, they’re in vogue. Irish, scotch, bourbon or rye; single malt or blended; people are on the hunt for exotic breeds and aromatic flavors. A cursory glance of the web will tell you that distillery locations are as diverse and globetrotting as appellations. If you can feed the need, this may become a powerful revenue stream for your F&B. Let’s review some of the corollaries of investing in your whiskey selection. And, as always, please don’t drive and drive. 1. Rarity. It doesn’t take a lot of research to stock Johnny Walker Blue Label on the shelf – an expensive but nonetheless outstanding blended malt. As an alternative, how about offering Nikka from the Barrel, a blended whiskey…from …

Larry MogelonskyIn Vino Veritas Part VI – Whiskeys

Flo Lugli, EVP of Marketing for Wyndham Hotel Group Discusses Hotel Software Developments

With over 6,000 people in attendance representing 15 brands from the world’s largest hotel company, the second Wyndham Hotel Group conference in Las Vegas revealed two very exciting technological developments – WynReview and MyRequest – that I yearned to know more about. That was April and since that time, I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Flo Lugli, their Executive Vice President of Marketing, to discuss these two products in depth. Originally I had gone into this interview expecting a straight talk about how WynReview and MyRequest were part of a larger overall strategy to combat the advances of the OTAs. But what I got was much more comprehensive and satisfying. “Ultimately,” Flo said, “The OTAs only sell what hotels give them to sell.” And this could not be truer. There are challenges with any channel, and, although it would be ideal to have 100% of bookings completed directly with the hotel, …

Larry MogelonskyFlo Lugli, EVP of Marketing for Wyndham Hotel Group Discusses Hotel Software Developments

How to humanize your hotel brand identity

Apple is big—the biggest company in the world in fact. It’s easy to look at such a massive corporate brand and say, “We should be more like them!” Correct, yes, but also naïve. After all, what can Apple, a cutting-edge phone and computer company, possibly offer to hoteliers? As it turns out, quite a lot. One such piece of advice was recently spelled out by Apple’s stores are ergonomically designed to maximize human interaction. The Apple “Geniuses” all wear bright blue and easily identifiable T-shirts. But that’s nothing compared to the furniture orientation. Dominating the front are large and inviting tables with a sparse arrangement of products and pricing details. The stores are filled with employees, all out in the open and ready to talk shop. And when it’s time to pay the bill, Apple uses mobile cashier platforms as a substitute for bulky registers. The other primary example …

Larry MogelonskyHow to humanize your hotel brand identity

Responsive Design Heralds a New Site for SSP

Strategic Solutions Partners needed a new site to asset them with their service expansion. World-recognized in the field of hospitality management support, SSP was looking for a web site that would address the issue of users on tablet and mobile as well as a traditional computer. LMA undertook a site built in HTML5 with an EE2 content management system. This effective combination provides a fully responsive design as the site meets the users visual needs.  Visit site.

Jerry GrymekResponsive Design Heralds a New Site for SSP

Ten Differentiators: Inspiration with Ten Examples of Unique Hotel Features

Hotels continue to define novel approaches to further differentiate themselves from competitors and other properties. The concept behind this is to deliver one truly unique facet to the travel experience, thereby giving guests a common affirmation to draw upon for word-of-mouth, online reviews and return visits. Here are ten highly memorable and personal examples of properties that are accomplishing this objective. (I am sure that those reading this article can add more to the list, and feel free to do so!) The Guest Robes in Kimpton Properties. If you’ve seen one bathrobe, you’ve seen them all. Except for Kimpton Hotels. Imagine opening the closet to a zebra print and a tiger stripe gown.  Whether you’re inclined to use it or not, it’s nevertheless an eye-turner. Fun and uniquely Kimpton. Avari Towers in Karachi. Here is a pizza delivery idea that’s dangerously good and coming out of Pakistan no less. At …

Larry MogelonskyTen Differentiators: Inspiration with Ten Examples of Unique Hotel Features

Apple Versus Android

Remember the billion dollar Apple-Samsung lawsuit launched in spring 2011? Some rulings have already been handed down, but the patent infringement case has also expanded to over 50 countries around the world. It’s a world war fought with armies of lawyers and an armistice isn’t a looming outcome. Apple instigated the litigations and I doubt they’d be inclined to do so if they didn’t feel threatened by Samsung’s technological advances. They should feel threatened, especially when you look at the sales figures which foreshadow a change in the reigns for global smartphone dominance. Samsung’s mobile division outsold Apple’s counterpart in the second quarter of 2012 with just over 50 million units sold versus only 26 million for Apple. That’s a huge difference. Keep in mind though, the pendulum may swing the other way given the launch of the iPhone 5 in time for the holiday season. With its hardware perfected …

Larry MogelonskyApple Versus Android

A New Scam Every Minute

  The success of electronic marketing naturally invites a criminal element. Our IT departments, whether in-house or outsourced, are the ever-vigilant experts on fraud detection, not out of want, but necessity. Yet somehow, all of this prevention often moves such less-than-honest individuals to even more creative endeavors. Here is one such tale that is not yet resolved. One of our Agency’s clients is the prestigious Hazelton Hotel in Toronto. This exquisite, independent, 77-room property is uber-professional and impeccably run by a highly trained staff. The property’s website ( is commensurate with the Hazelton’s cachet – understated with a focus on ultramodern quality. Recently, the Hazelton Hotel received a social media inquiry from an individual who wanted to know about employment at the property’s ‘sister’ hotel in London, England. This note was immediately red-flagged. Sister property? We asked the Facebook respondent, who then forwarded a comment that claimed the supposed Hazelton …

Larry MogelonskyA New Scam Every Minute

In Search of Hotel Excellence: Hotel Palomar Philadelphia

A recent business trip to Philadelphia afforded me the chance to stay at the Hotel Palomar in the central, chichi Rittenhouse Square neighborhood. Renovating the 1929 Art Deco husk of the former home of the American Institute of Architects, this 230-room hotel is now fully LEED-certified and totally ultramodern. Arising from all this splendor was my meeting with Wendell Bush, the affable Chief Experience Officer (General Manager), discussing, of course, his management philosophy. As background, the Hotel Palomar is part of the 50+ properties that make up the Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group. Founded in 1981, the core idea behind every Kimpton asset is the oft-zealous attitude of ‘hospitality with personality’. Bill Kimpton, the founder, strived to embrace guests’ desire for one-of-a-kind experiences, life-enriching amenities and fun-meets-function touches. Given the success of the chain, it is well worth noting their unique formula, as this Philly property is a clear beneficiary. …

Larry MogelonskyIn Search of Hotel Excellence: Hotel Palomar Philadelphia

In Vino Veritas Part V – Go On A Tour!

  Can you sell wine without ever having visited a winery or vineyard? Sure, it’s done all the time. Plus, with the internet at your disposal, you can find out plenty more than is necessary to do the deed. But, will you sell wine better and more often if you’ve made yourself personally involved in its production? I assure you: yes. The more information you know about wine and the greater your personal connection to it, the more your passion for wine will be communicated to guests. And that passion will translate into revenue. What I’m talking about is putting a narrative behind the sales pitch. For instance, a guest points to the menu and asks, “Is this Merlot any good?” The waiter may reply with a simple affirmation, which isn’t all that encouraging, or instead they could say, “Yes! Our manager toured that winery last summer and he specifically …

Larry MogelonskyIn Vino Veritas Part V – Go On A Tour!