Why do we all seem to be so incredibly busy? And why does it never seem to let up?
We have a very small team of incredibly committed individuals looking after Membership, working on forthcoming events – from regular networking to the full-on Annual Convention and Gala Awards ceremony – managing the website overhaul, working with ISAAP to refine and roll out the new Accreditation, managing and growing the consumer-facing Member directory staywithconfidence.com, setting operations and financial strategy, and literally getting out and about, meeting key figures and our members in the wider industry, legislators and those from complementary industries. Among other things!
And most of the four of us are only part-time.
So it is now time to plug some gaps in our resources, to find solutions that allow the team to concentrate on the business strategy and administration we specialise in, while passing over some of the external work, at least temporarily.
As a result, one thing we’re focusing on is a communications overhaul and setting a new approach to complementing our 5-year strategy. Many Members will know that our long-standing Marketing and PR Manager Joyce stood down last year, to concentrate on other things, and we are delighted that she left us in a happy place – with goodwill within the industry and the media starting to take a real interest.
Almost a year on, we’ve engaged Becky Hoyle, digital editor of the ASAP Newshub and the weekly newsletter, who is a familiar face at the Convention and who has interviewed many key figures in the industry on our behalf. As well as managing the hub, Becky is a communications specialist working across a number of positively disruptive industries, and she will be auditing our current marketing position and setting strategy for the rest of our 5-year plan, whilst also managing our day-to-day communications requirements and setting some new directions for the Newshub and Bulletin.
Among other activities, she is going to be approaching a range of ASAP contacts, both inside and outside the Membership, for interviews, insights and polls – and we would very much appreciate it if you would help her with requests or pass her questions to someone else within your organisation if there’s someone better placed to get involved.
We’re looking to launch a programme of regular communications, several times a week, through the Newshub and via various self-publishing platforms such as LinkedIn and Medium, as we continue to build momentum for the serviced apartment sector with consumers, travel buyers and the media, running across interviews, blogs, insights and ideas, which will also be sold into various media organisations where we can.
And we will also be running an in-depth survey across a wide audience of consumers to gauge and report on the perception of our sector within hospitality, and to consider how best to use this strategically for the coming months and years. Among other things.
As I said I last week’s interview, the parts of the industry we have been challenging up till now are starting to face that challenge, fighting back to maintain market share. The lines between traditional hotels and alternative accommodations such as the homestay platforms, the middle ground where serviced apartments and aparthotels used to sit so neatly, are now blurring. Hotel chains are moving into homestay and apartment living, while Airbnb is offering something close to business-class accommodation, to engage with corporate travel buyers, and adventures on top, to snare the luxury high-spending millennial market.
We need to maintain and indeed, improve our market proposition – so getting our communications, our messaging, right, has never been so key or so pressing.