Technology can have a disruptive effect of communication—creating a variety of challenges and opportunities. IABC Associate Editor Khyla Flores recently spoke with Renu Hanegreefs-Snehi, an advocate of the digital customer experience and vice president with responsibility for corporate communications, PR and and reputation management for the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. Hanegreefs-Snehi highlights how the digital transformation of communication requires more emotional intelligence than ever from campaigns, and shares her biggest piece of advice for those starting out in the industry.
Khyla Flores: What are the top communication trends you’ve identified in the hospitality industry this year, and how do you foresee them changing in 2018?
Renu Hanegreefs-Snehi: We’ve seen a huge increase in the power of word of mouth and social influence, alongside the decline of Facebook compared to more focused channels like Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube. This affects our whole thinking about communication, and flags the vital importance of using real emotional intelligence to ensure we get the right message to the right people at the right time.
Buying behavior and customer attitudes to loyalty have also changed. We’ve developed close relationships with key influencers who we know don’t just want content. Real people want real and compelling stories. So that’s what we give them.
Brands that thrive must be seen to be culturally relevant and engaged. People must be talking about them, as reputation is now more important than image. And we, in communication, must guard our all-important reputation by ensuring people are saying the right things about us. These trends look set to continue into 2018 and beyond. Human2Human! No more B2B or B2C or B2anything.
KF: How do you think the rise in digital communication has had an impact on effective communication?...
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