This post probably should be in a few parts, but since it is a progression of experiences, I'll keep the collection together. Speaking of collections, you'll find my Elysian Hotel images here.
When I got an invitation to attend a private reception at The Elysian Hotel on November 18 I almost said no. With social media events on Monday and Thursday of that week, did I really want to fit a third one in?
Part of the fun of social media, make that a great deal of the fun, is the live experience: meeting people, showing up, sharing a common experience and then, of course sharing with others - preferably during the event, if at all possible.
Although I told my newsletter subscribers about the event the very next day and I uploaded my Elysian Hotel images to flickr, I held off on sharing on my blog. Why? Well, that requires writing something.
And, this was an experience that didn't easily translate into a quick post.
In between times, I showed the images off to lots of folks, including an architect and his wife at our family Thanksgiving gathering. What did they like? The trim on the curtains. My college daughter was captivated by the spa image. Another relative found a black and white image compelling. "How The Elysian Hotel ended up at our Thanksgiving Dinner" could be the title of this post, but that's not the real story. Let's pick up where we left off: should I go or say no.
Before I turned down the invitation to preview the property, I decided to take The Elysian up on its offer to bring a guest.
I emailed my friend Amy Hesser, to see if she wanted to go with me. Amy's enthusiasm made me wonder why I'd ever questioned going in the first place. I picked her up - we both brought water - and we drove downtown to an experience that we both described later as "dreamy."
And, maybe that's why I waited to write this post: I was in a dream.
For the last five or six years, my firm's represented interior design studios, I've personally interviewed and photographed chefs and more recently, I've embraced the social media scene. On this night, going behind the scenes to meet the chefs, taste their food, chat with the owner, tour the property and soak in the ambiance exemplified dreamy.
Being invited back to the grand opening was an honor.
The unexpected bonus? An inspiration to share a lesson in twitter relations, or TR, with you.
How to Stage Your Own TR - Twitter Relations - Success Story
1. Compile an influential list. Golin Harris, the hotel's PR firm, put together a list of top twitterers [thanks to Molly Currey, Len Kendall and Ashley Lynn].
2. Make key personnel accessible and personable - in this case we met David Pisor, the developer, and several staff members.
3. Show people around and give them the back story.
4. Let them take pictures and ask questions.
5. Wine them and dine them - especially if you're in the hospitality business.
6. Set up an event hashtag.
7. Package digital media kits - we received a video DVD and a CD with documents and images. You could also give out branded flash drives.
8. Pose for pictures from iPhones, cameras and video recorders.
9. Track mentions and thank those who mention you.
10. Inform the team ahead of time about the possibility of being photographed and interviewed.
11. Train team members on core messages and frequently asked questions.
12. Take pictures of the twitterers you invite and then post them to your wall.
13. Stage events and groups in sequence to vary exposure and experiences.
14. Add connections, with their permission, to a newsroom RSS feed.
15. Invite connections to contribute to your blog or publications.
16. Initiate ambassadors with special access, discounts and privileges.
17. Associate with leading area social media groups as an advertiser or sponsor.
18. Tweet all of this.
19. Repeat 18
20. Link to a twitter-feed from your site.
21. Monitor comments and reply immediately.
22. Collect favorite tweets and set up as an RSS feed.
23. Group ambassadors on a twitter list.
24. Invite the group back for special events.
25. Anticipate their dreams and make them a reality.
A Night at the Elysian . . . excerpted from Wired PR Works News
I wish you all could have been with me. But only 20 or so of Chicago’s top twitterers were invited to a behind the scenes tour of the new Elysian Hotel. Pulling up into the courtyard, I drove right up to valet instead of circling around the center, which amused everyone. Do I know how to make an entrance? Uh, not so much.
In this picture: Barbara Rozgonyi [me!], David Pisor, the developer and Amy Hesser
Wow! What a night: dinner in the kitchen with the chefs, an exclusive tour and fabulous company, including many of my social media friends.
I love oysters . . .
The décor is inspired by Coco Chanel. In the entry, this chandelier echoes her brooch.
The experience? Luxury residential with hi-tech touches like a TV screen integrated into the bathroom mirrors.
Being the founder of Social Media Club Chicago definitely comes with perks like exclusive invitations.
What struck me the most: we twitterers are now recognized as an influential group that businesses want to reach.
Why? We spread the news throughout our own networks, which may be more powerful than mainstream media in many ways: we have a relationship with our followers, they trust us and they want to know what we’re doing.
Do you know who’s who on twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn in your town? How about the top bloggers in your area? If not, invite them over.
The Elysian Hotel opened at 11 E. Walton in Chicago on December 9. http://www.elysianhotels.com/
What ideas will you use to create your own TR success story?