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Hilton Hotels

ABA10 WinnerCompany: Hilton Hotels, McLean, VA
Entry Submitted By: Covalent Logic
Company Description: Hilton Hotels is the stylish, forward-thinking global leader of hospitality that welcomes guests in more countries than any other full-service hotel brand. The Hilton brand currently includes more than 530 hotels and resorts in 76 countries. By offering innovative products, services and amenities, Hilton enables travelers to be at their best 24/7, whether traveling for business or leisure.
Nomination Category: Corporate Communications, Investor Relations, & Public Relations Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Communications or PR Campaign of the Year - Reputation/Brand Management

Nomination Title: Hilton Hotels Boosts Brand Image With Global Media Center

1. Tell the story about this nominated campaign since January 1 2009 (up to 500 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

For 90 years, Hilton Hotels has worked to create personalized and exceptional
experiences for the world’s travelers. After years of operating separately,
Hilton Hotels Corporation recently reunited with Hilton International laying the
foundation for what its flagship brand represents today: more than 530+ hotels
and resorts in 76 countries across six continents dedicated to hospitality. With
its truly global footprint and merging public relations teams, the brand
recognized the need to create the same personalized, exceptional experiences for
another key constituent: the media.

Hilton faced several challenges. Among them, was developing a truly global,
multi-lingual tool easily accessible by journalists around the world. Another
was ensuring solutions would be available 24/7. Additionally, the tool needed
to be consistent with the brand’s image as an innovative leader in the
hospitality industry.

Working with Louisiana-based Covalent Logic, Hilton developed the Hilton Global
Media Center (HGMC), the industry’s first, comprehensive, credential-free online
resource dedicated to the media. Groundbreaking in its scope, the goal was to
extend “PR hospitality” to media professionals seeking information about the
brand and any of its properties in an efficient manner. A secondary objective
was improving “speed to market” and media response times by leveraging new media
to communicate with the press.

The media’s input was paramount to the development of the HGMC, and during the
planning phase (beginning in the summer of 2009), Hilton solicited feedback from
reporters, bloggers, freelance writers and members of its global PR team. This
feedback influenced site navigation and other core elements. Later Hilton
invited writers in multiple countries to share their opinions through an early
preview period. This thoughtful solicitation process drove the overall content
and functionality of the site making it “tailor made” for the media, by the media.

Designed for flexibility and ease of use, the HGMC was built with a
custom-developed proprietary Content Management System allowing Hilton to update
content through more than 530 back-end micro sites, manage media contacts,
distribute materials to select journalists and simultaneously publish content to
the brand’s official Twitter feed. The HGMC incorporates a smart,
easy-to-navigate format, and uses Google Translate to instantly translate
content into more than 50 global languages.

The site’s mobile-friendly feature ensures reporters can access content and
submit requests on the go from their mobile devices. The site also allows the PR
team to share content through more than 200 social media channels. Additionally,
the Communication Management System enables the team to receive instant
notification when journalists download photos, read press releases, submit media
inquiries or request media accommodations.

After only three months since officially launching the HGMC, Hilton has seen a
5% uptick in positive media coverage which translates to an estimated ad value
delivering a 2:1 ROI for the project. To date, the HGMC has attracted 40,000
page views from journalists in 117 countries, more than 300 photo downloads, and
boasts over 1600 subscribers to its e-newsletter.

To quote the editor-in-chief at Hospitality Technology magazine, “it really
looks fantastic …the new site will certainly be a great resource.”

2. List hyperlinks to any online work samples, news stories, press releases, or other documents that support the claims made in the section above. IMPORTANT: Begin each link with http://, and enclose each link in square brackets; for example, []:

3. Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the leader(s) of the team that carried out this campaign:

John Forrest Ales, Director of Global Public Relations – Hilton Hotels
John Forrest Ales loves going to work where he leads communication strategies
for Hilton and its hotel portfolio. He is responsible for managing the brand's
global reputation; executing media and community relations; supporting brand
marketing objectives and creating resources for hotels to excel in local
markets. His favorite Hilton amenity is the Hilton Pet Friendly collection and
if he could have any job at Hilton he would opt to be the team member who lights
the torches at Hilton Hawaiian Village each night.