Posts tagged ‘Pigeon Forge’

Tweeting to Titanic Proportions: Twitter brings back history

This weekend marked the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.  The sinking of the “unsinkable” passenger ship, was immortalized in the movie of the same name, which has just been re-released to theaters in 3-D.   Memorial cruises to the place in the ocean where the Titanic sunk occurred, and rose petals were dropped to remember the passengers and crew who lost their lives.  In my area, the Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee  held ceremonies. If you’re on Twitter, you may have found an account reenacting the tweets that may have happened as the ship went down…assuming that the internet and Twitter existed 100 years ago (and of course, there would have been internet access on the ship even if it had existed).

An account called @TitanicRealTime appeared, tweeting about the disaster as if it were occurring now. Sponsored by @TheHistoryPress, @TitanicRealTime took readers through the disaster. Here are some samples of the tweets.

#officer Californian ATS has just informed us she has had to stop due to a field of pack ice – I’ve informed the lookouts.”

#firstclass The lights in the lounges have been extinguished and have been moved from the reading & writing room on A Deck. Time to turn in.

#officer 3 gongs coming from the lookout and a report on the telephone – Iceberg Right Ahead. Hard-a-starboard

#engineering Water pouring in 2ft above stokehold plates in boiler room 6 and in the empty starboard side forward bunker of boiler room 5!

#bandmaster No questions, I have received an order to play, and play we will.

You can see all of the tweets on the timeline. In the spirit of all things Twitter, a parody account, @TitanicIceberg was created, and people tweeted their own humorous comments back to the account.

In 100 years,  real time tweets will be able to be unearthed, as all tweets are being archived by the Library of Congress.  We didn’t have Twitter and our present-day social media for the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, but we have to chronicle revolutions and  tornado damage among others, and the next big disaster will be able to be seen in real time by future generations.

Your thoughts?


Cleaning up a PR mess: Pigeon Forge, TN hotel sues

When the most popular travel review website in the world calls your hotel the “dirtiest in America“, you have a big problem to say the least.  The Grand Resort Hotel and Convention Center in Pigeon Forge, TN received the dubious dishonor of being number one in their list of the Dirtiest Hotels in America. The distinction, to say the least, severely harmed business at the hotel, and the owner of the hotel is still reeling from the public shaming.  The effects on business were so great, the hotel’s owner is suing TripAdvisor for $10 million.

No matter what happened, or didn’t happen at Grand Resort Hotel,  where do they go from here to repair their reputation, even if the “award” was unjustified and the bad reviews were due to malice?

I asked Michelle Quillen, Social Media/Marketing Manager of New England Multimedia and Public Relations pro Jayme Soulati of Soulati Media what steps the Grand Resort could use to clean up their reputation (deserved or not, a dirty hotel is what their potential customers now know them as).  Michelle in turn asked her Facebook readers for their take and advice.

Michelle had several suggestions for the Grand Resort Hotel

1) Come up with Room Cleaning Standards Checklist, give it a name reflecting stellar service.

2) Create similar checklists w/same stellar-reflection service name for other hotel services.

3) Train all workers in new standards, get them on video talking about standards, taking pride in hotel.

4) Make video of CEO talking about new standards, & offering free night to any customer whose stay does not meet gold standard in any of those areas. Offer incentives to workers to deliver standard.

5) Finally, plaster that new Stellar Service Standards all over the website, social media, TV.

After making the suggestions, Michelle adds: ” But I agree with the owner, to a point. I don’t trust review sites. Competitors troll them.”

Jayme Soulati said ” Ta heck w/ standards! CLEAN!. Then open up the hotel for the grandest promo ever” Free Night Weekend” and invite guests to stay over free as long as they consider (you can’t force) Yelp, Foursquare, Trip Advisor recommendations.  Also,  launch a photo story board — perhaps Facebook timeline? Launches all the photos peeps take while staying there. I’d also get a top notch quality control inspector to give it the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval and ensure no bed bugs among other things.  Rebecca Griffin adds that a change of name for the hotel could be appropriate. Ugh BAD PR is bad PR no matter how you slice it. My advice is to have them clean the hotel and well, and possibly invite Trip Advisor people to come inspect it. Lawyers are just going to cost them more money in the end.

Gia Volterra De Saulnier of PhinnVolt Enterprises adds that “BAD PR is bad PR no matter how you slice it. My advice is to have them clean the hotel and well, and possibly invite Trip Advisor people to come inspect it. Lawyers are just going to cost them more money in the end”.

From Tristan Pinnock: “Hire some former Marine Corps Drill Instructors to inspect rooms after cleaning. In fact, you could run a marketing campaign on that fact alone”.  (This would be HUGE!)

I’d like to thank everyone who commented in this impromptu discussion; these are all very good ideas.

My take on the Grand Resort lawsuit: It may well be justified, Grand Resort could be 100% in the right, and TripAdvisor and their reviewers could be 100% wrong, but the reputation damage has been done and it will take much time, effort and money to overcome the damage that this black eye has caused. The Grand Resort has it’s work cut out for them.

(If anyone from the hotel is reading, thank you, and if you would like help putting these ideas into effect, contact me at BradLovettMarketing  AT


A Royal Honeymoon in the Smoky Mountains?

It’s official. Prince William and Kate Middleton will tie the knot at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2010. It will be a huge media and television event, perhaps even rivaling the royal wedding of Prince William’s parents.

The couple could skip all the pomp and circumstance and marry in one of the Smoky Mountain region’s fine wedding chapels instead. A worldwide TV audience might not want them to have a simple ceremony stateside, however. Why not our very own Smoky Mountains as a honeymoon destination, however?

Think just a minute of the possibilities. The weather will be nice and warm, but shouldn’t be hot yet. The dogwoods will be in bloom. The attractions will be open. What royal couple wouldn’t want to spend time in East Tennessee?

Prince William and Princess Kate have led more “normal” lives than most royals. William is a helicopter pilot, and Kate has worked as a flight attendant, retail buyer and photographer while her parents own a successful business.

As those of us who live here or visit often know, there is a lot to do. They couple can stay in one of the resorts, a secluded cabin or chalet, or even the Inn at Christmas Place (if it was good enough for Regis Philbin, why not for the Royal Couple?) There’s ziplining,, nice restaurants, Dollywood, The Titanic Museum Attraction, and Wonderworks. The couple can hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, go rafting on the quiet side of the mountain, or take a day trip to Knoxville and attend the Tennessee Theatre or the Bijou. How much money would a royal honeymoon in the Smokies bring into the area? All that papparrazzi would have to stay somewhere. Sevierville based Cinemarr Entertainment could film it all in 3D.

Whether or not the Royal Couple actually honeymoon here, the promotional tie-ins for all types of business are endless, particularly for any type of business that heavily targets females. A royal weekend travel package? Bridal shops offering duplicates of Ms. Middleton’s dress? Bars and restaurants offering big-screen viewings of the wedding (even if it is at 4:30am Eastern Time)

How could you make the royal wedding tie into your Spring 2011 promotional plan?

How can radio maximize social media?

Many radio stations have at least some social media presence. Often it’s an on-air personality or newsperson going out on his or her own to start a Facebook page, Twitter account, or blog. In the downsizing that has occurred since the consolidation of the industry began, utilizing digital media has been relegated to the back burner by even some of the largest companies, who don’t see the advantages, let alone money-making possibilities. In short, let me share a few ideas that could help if your stations are considering diving into the social media pool.

Social media reaches your audience when they aren’t listening to the radio. You can stay in touch with them during the workday, leisure time, and anywhere a computer or mobile device goes. You can engage them in conversations even when a live personality is not in the studio.

Can’t afford extra news help? Your social media audience is now your instant news, traffic, and lifestyle reporting staff, and even videographers for your website and social media presence. Many law enforcement agencies are already using social media to send out traffic alerts; you can share them with your on-air and online audience. You may find you even have free comedy writers! Your morning team’s best one-liner could come from someone you’re following on Twitter. What better bang for the buck (or no buck) is that? When your staff produces content that isn’t duplicated on the radio station, that’s another place to place advertising.

Where is the money? It can be in several places, but it may involve a shift in thinking. Is yours a radio station with a website, or a media company that happens to have transmitters and towers? What about growing separate businesses and channels that attract business categories that you don’t have now? Combining radio with social media including video, you could make a fitness coach or chiropractor a local star! How about your own interactive coupon site, complete with video?

Would you like your sales staff to be thought leaders and experts in advertising and social media? Blogging and a sales website can help make that happen. A great example is Scott Howard’s extensive sales and marketing website for the Summit City Radio Group in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

Once you and your staff have learned how to help businesses integrate social media with their radio advertising, you can begin charging consulting fees to area businesses to help them maximize their social media presence.

Sound interesting so far?

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