An open letter to Marriott: I’m staying elsewhere as long as you want to block my WiFi hotspot

UPDATE: According to reports on January 15, Marriott has abandoned its effort to get the FCC to revise its rules to allow them to block guest WiFi, mainly due to public pressure.


Dear Marriott:

Your focus on the business traveler experience has made your hotels my first choice when I have to hit the road for work. However, your anti-consumer stance on WiFi has me rethinking that choice. In fact, all the business I’ve been giving Marriott over the years could well be going to Hyatt, which seems to your polar opposite.

You—with the assistance of your lobbying group, the American Hospitality & Lodging Association—have petitioned the… Read More »

This 8-week multimedia course will prepare you to succeed strategically with social media

Training TestimonialIn early 2012 and 2013, Joe Thornley and I presented an eight-week workshop on “An Integrative Approach to Social Media.” We developed the course originally in response to an RFP from IABC, which hosts the series. We made some minor tweaks and updates for the 2013 workshop. This year’s session—which begins on February 6—is a complete overhaul.

Training TestimonialIf you’re looking for an innovative learning experience that will get you up to speed on applying social media to your communication strategy, this is it. Take a look at some of the testimonials we received after the 2013 session ended, which I’ve sprinkled through this post.

There are three… Read More »

Sprint 1, Club Quarters 0

Knowing I’d be traveling on a Monday, I called the hotel where I had a reservation—the Club Quarters on 45th in Manhattan, to ask about the in-room Net access. Mondays are generally recording days for For Immediate Release, the PR-focused podcast I’ve been co-hosting with Neville Hobson since early 2005. We record over Skype, so a decent connection is a requirement.

The answer from the polite gentleman who answered my call was reassuring: “We’ve had very few complaints from our guests about the in-room WiFi and, if that doesn’t work, you can always use the hard-wired connection in the rooms.” Perfect, I thought; I’m covered. I let… Read More »

Using your Blackberry to shoot yourself in the foot

I talk to an increasing number of people who wake up in the morning and instantly grab their Blackberry from the bedside table to check work email. Dealing with work on your smartphone is a huge example of the end of work-life balance, but it’s not the only one. Conference calls with Asia at 2 a.m., getting reports done while on vacation, following work-related developments online over the weekend…it’s all typical for knowledge workers. Just as the news cycle has gone 24 hours, so has the work cycle.

It is because nobody outside of the assembly line works from 9 to 5 that the use of at-work networks for non-work-related activities… Read More »

WiFi users spend more time online

Those busy folks over at the Pew Internet and American Life Project have released a study showing that people with WiFi access tend to spend more time online than those tethered to a hard-wired connection. Thirty-four percent of Interet users have gone online using WiFi, with most of them using hotspots away from home or work. Details here.

From a communications standpoint, the first implication that leaps to mind is the potential for internal communications. If your company hasn’t implemented WiFi in its facilities, it’s time to reconsider (or consider for the first time). Being able to get online at meetings or in the cafeteria can… Read More »

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