If a new hotel opens and you’re not there to see it, does it make a sound? A few months ago, Viceroy Hotel Group cut the ribbon on its very first New York City property. It’s quite a sight: 29 floors and 240 guestrooms on West 57th Street in the heart of Manhattan. There was much fanfare surrounding the newest addition to the Viceroy portfolio.

But I didn’t hear any of it — at least not via the traditional channels through which such information is typically conveyed. Instead, I caught glimpses and heard whispers through the public Instagram account of Viceroy CEO Bill Walshe, where he shared images such as the Viceroy sign going up, orientation for new managers and a snapshot of the hotel’s opening team.

No doubt countless hours and dollars were spent getting word out with the aid of marketing and PR agencies. However, it’s fascinating to think that the main source of information for me was Mr. Walshe simply sharing his perspective as he went about his day.

Are his actions driving revenue? Am I going to book a hotel room there someday? Does a CEO on Instagram count as an essential part of your pre-opening strategy? 

Only time will tell. Right now, I’m just enjoying the view. 

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