Apr 13, 2009Egypt reports two more H5N1 outbreaksAnimal health officials in Egypt recently reported two new H5N1 avian influenza outbreaks in backyard poultry, according to the Egypt-based Strengthening Avian Influenza Detection and Response (SAIDR). The virus infected 12 chickens in a village in Suez governorate, and the vaccination status of the birds was not known. Meanwhile, the virus hit 34 unvaccinated poultry of various kinds in a village in Beni Suef governorate. The outbreak was detected through active surveillance.Russia targets poultry vaccination to migration hotspotRussia’s agricultural oversight agency, Rosselkhoznadzor, today announced the start of a major push to vaccinate backyard poultry in the Altai region against the H5N1 avian influenza virus, Itar-Tass, Russia’s news agency, reported. Officials said the Altai region is at risk for H5N1 outbreaks because it is on a route for migrating birds from Asia, where the H5N1 virus is more prevalent.Jakarta to consolidate backyard poultryIn an effort to control the spread of the H5N1 avian influenza virus, Indonesia’s agriculture ministry recently announced plans to corral all poultry in residential Jakarta neighborhoods into four centrally located poultry shelters, according to a report in the April issue of Poultry Indonesia magazine. The city government said it will build the four structures and that all chickens in the city must be confined to the areas by Apr 24, 2010. Construction on one shelter, designed to hold 1 million birds, is nearly complete, but work hasn’t begun on the other three.Report says UK won’t urge flu shots for childrenThe United Kingdom’s expert panel on immunization has decided not to recommend influenza vaccination for children, according to Pulse, a weekly newsletter for British physicians. The UK Department of Health had asked its medical advisers to review the issue after a modeling study by Health Protection Agency researchers predicted that vaccinating children could reduce flu in the general population by up to 70%, the report said. But the minutes of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation make clear that flu shots would not be recommended for children, according to Pulse. Professor Andy Hall, chair of the committee, said there was not enough evidence that current flu vaccines are effective in young children. The British policy contrasts with that of the United States, where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all children aged 6 months to 18 years receive annual flu immunizations.Chicago health officials track contacts of TB-infected doctorA 26-year-old pediatric resident working in Chicago was diagnosed as having tuberculosis (TB) on Apr 7 and might have exposed patients at three area hospitals to the disease, the Chicago Tribune reported on Apr 11. None of the woman’s patients or coworkers have so far been diagnosed with TB. Though the three hospitals have said the risk to patients is “minimal,” they are contacting patients who were exposed to the resident. Northwestern Memorial Hospital said in an Apr 10 press release that at least 17 patients—some of them women who delivered babies—were exposed to the woman at its Prentice Women’s Hospital between Nov 3 and 19, 2008, and that another 100 may have received care from her. Evanston Hospital said today that a limited number of patients and staff in the facility’s special infant care unit were potentially exposed to the doctor between Feb 11 and Mar 12. She most recently worked at Children’s Memorial Hospital, where hospital officials said she had contact with at least 150 children and more than 300 workers, the Tribune reported. Susan Gerber, MD, chief medical officer of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said the woman’s infection was “susceptible and sensitive” to treatment and that health officials are investigating a trip she made as a medical student in late 2007 to an HIV clinic in Botswana.
Hotel management is more and more obsessed with numbers, calculations, determining the best sales channels, and maximizing overall ROI. If something is not guaranteed, they are hard to separate from the money for communication activities. In the fight for profit, one often forgets to take into account hospitality and the guest experience in general. However, hotel management often turns its head in front of negative criticism of guests on forums and social networks, believing that they cannot learn too much from it. And so often one of the most important factors in the hotel industry – service, often becomes “out of service”.PROVIDE THE GUEST WITH AN ADDITIONAL EXPERIENCE, NOT JUST THE PROMISED SERVICES The end result of the hotel experience is impossible to put into calculations, but this does not mean that its quality does not play a significant role in the final results. While all parts of the hotel story are important and one should be smart with technical innovations and modern standards, one must by no means forget the feeling, experience and added value for the guest. Because one thing is for sure, when a traveler visits any hotel, he is not an inspector and does not ask for all the technical specifications and services listed on the website or in the reservation systems.What that same traveler expects is that these services will be found no matter what. Instead, he expects a whole host of positive feelings; he expects to be appreciated, pampered, expects to be pampered by all his senses and to ultimately experience everything he does not have the opportunity to experience in everyday life.KINDNESS AND DEDICATION SHOULD BE THE MAIN WORD IN THE HOSPITALITYAs a hotelier, you must not forget that just one nice gesture, just one small extra service or some nice sentence will be the best promotional material for your hotel. Often you yourself are not even aware of how easy it is to get a new hotel ambassador, and how much the positive atmosphere in the hotel contributes to better reviews.Today, when social media and travel forums are a powerful tool in deciding on the choice of hotel, it is especially important to focus on the communication activities of the hotel, from the stage of imagination of the guest to the stage of staying in the hotel. The power of a recommendation, whether online or oral, is extremely important and can easily bring you positive publicity, but also one bad move can easily turn the whole 360-degree business story into a negative. The arrogant way of doing business has not brought great results to anyone in the hotel industry, because guests really care how they feel about returning from a trip.Photo: Unsplash.comAS A HOTEL HOTEL, ASK YOURSELF EVERY DAY A FEW QUESTIONS:Do you pay enough attention to the guest experience?Eg. Have you introduced any “gastro travel” in your catering offer? Does your mini club work inspiringly and does it really help parents? Have you thought about organizing some theme clubs at the hotel? Namely, today people often travel because of hobbies and the desire to socialize with like-minded people… Is your wellness really as extraordinary and unique as it is written in your brochures? Are your receptionists sufficiently educated to tell guests the story of the destination itself and share useful recommendations and advice? Are you fast and efficient and do you provide service 24 hours a day? Does your food and beverage manager have enough authority to cheer up a dissatisfied guest with some free catering surprise during their stay? Do you care in general about how your staff treats dissatisfied guests? And finally, how helpful is your staff to the guest and how common is it for them to laugh when they pass by the guest?What story are you telling the world? What’s your story? Does your hotel have any special features that you are proud of? Did you include stories from the destination in the stories about your hotel? Maybe just the history and tradition of the place or the people associated with the hotel could be a great story? Maybe gastronomic specialties and your catering offer in general are something you should talk more about? Or do you have a unique hotel design, designer furniture or your own brand within the hotel from which you could make an interesting story? Great stories also arise from the style of the hotel, whether you go in the direction of lifestyle, holistic approach, fun, family vacation, honeymoon. Each model provides material for many new stories.No matter what characterizes you best, be sure to make a story about it! Be authentic and honest! And finally, be determined to achieve publicity on a topic that suits you, and that is of course possible if you have a good PR plan. It is important to be inspiring in continuity and always awaken the imagination of a potential guest!How do you connect with your potential guests who are in the process of planning and dreaming about their ideal destination?Do you develop the image of your hotel on a “storytelling model”, ie do you tell stories about your specific services and experiences of the area in which you are located? Do you have great photos and videos that show the experience during your stay at your hotel?Do you connect with your guests through social media? Do you answer questions on travel forums? Do you answer questions with some splint or tailor made approach? Do you have a loyalty program for your guests? Do you inform your old guests regularly about your current offer? Do you remember your guest during the year with a nice gesture such as a birthday card, holidays…?Remember, in the hotel industry, the personalization of the guest is extremely important. Hotel staff should be constantly educated on this issue and find solutions that offer a caring, yet not intrusive approach to the guest. Because every guest wants to feel honored and special, and this is possible even with a small gesture of addressing the guest by direct email or a nice response on social networks.Photo: Unsplash.comDo you listen to what guests say about the hotel experience in reviews on travel forums? Guest comments are important because they speak to their experience of your content. They often provide great guidance for the next steps on how to improve your business in a variety of ways. If you read the reviews carefully, you can reach business priorities, which you should implement as soon as possible.Databases are the key to excellent user experience management. They help detect many at first invisible patterns of behavior and definitely open up new opportunities to improve the service. Sometimes customer reviews and responses will easily help you develop a new effective hotel service.Do you have a clear PR strategy?Remember, PR strategy and activity plan not only serve to attract guests to the hotel, they also serve to better understand the real needs of guests and extraordinary work in the facility when the guest came to enjoy the experience.Without a clear PR strategy, the image of a hotel can very easily weaken and in the long run it will not be clear who you really are and what values you represent. It is probably of little importance to any hotel to be just one of the options in the reservation systems, and in order not to stay that way, it is important to constantly tell stories about your hotel. Stories that will set it apart from others on the market.Are internal and external communication in the hotel equally important to you?When talking about the PR strategy of a hotel, it is important to remember that no PR plan will be implemented with a result if there is no excellent communication between the hotel staff.In other words, if your public relations department does not communicate with other departments, starting from the household, reception and bartender to the sales team, and if everyone does not understand their share of story and responsibility, the effectiveness of PR activities is greatly reduced. It is disappointing that some of the hotels do not have any PR strategy at all, let alone a clear plan. The sales department is often expected to plan and carry out marketing and PR activities and to take all necessary actions for the best promotion of the hotel. And while it’s extremely important that the marketing and PR departments work great with the sales department, these are completely different roles. Three in one can hardly have a long-term positive effect on hotel image and figures.Photo: Unsplash.comMAKE YOUR GUEST FEEL SPECIALKindness, dedication and individual and professional attitude towards each guest should be the foundation of quality hotel business. A fresh dose of positive every day will always delight your guest again and again. Therefore, make sure that your staff is friendly, smiling and ready to offer and refer to additional facilities of your hotel and the area in which you are. The guest always wants to feel special and experience everything that everyday life does not provide.You must never forget how important mutual communication is in all hotel departments. Without understanding and solving problems on one side of the hotel, the other side cannot be expected to function properly. Lastly, remember that word of mouth is still a powerful promotional tool, and social media is a place where good or bad news about your service spreads quickly. Therefore, always pay attention to the excellence of your service because their value will overshadow any promotional material.Author: Marijana Brdovnik, magic4.club – Travel PR & Travel Branding agency
City travel to Wolves and Liverpool host Brighton on Saturday, while Chelsea travel to Newcastle on Sunday.Spurs are also yet to drop points after defying off the field distractions to see off Newcastle and Fulham.Mauricio Pochettino’s response to not signing a single player in the transfer window and delays over the club’s move to a new stadium have been a lesson in diplomacy for Mourinho.Rather than voice his frustration, Pochettino has consistently called for unity between the board, squad and fans and has been rewarded in the early weeks of the campaign.United, by contrast, look anything but living up to their name with divisions emerging between executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, key players like Paul Pogba and Mourinho.Woodward’s failure to answer Mourinho’s pleas for a new central defender was punished as Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof were exposed in defeat at Brighton.But both players were brought in at a combined cost of £60 million ($76 million) since Mourinho was appointed and the Portuguese coach has equally failed to harness their potential or get the best out of an expensively assembled squad.Woodward may now be regretting hiring Mourinho rather than going after Pochettino, who has led Spurs into the top four for each of the past three seasons on a fraction of the resources.The Londoners have lost 1-0 on each of their last three league visits to Old Trafford, though, and are also seeking revenge for defeat in last season’s FA Cup semi-finals.Reversing that run would be a strong statement of intent that they and not United will rival City, Liverpool and Chelsea for the title.– Emery’s era ‘needs’ liftoff –Unai Emery was handed a difficult start as Arsenal manager © AFP / Glyn KIRKA summer of change at Arsenal and West Ham has so far yielded no points for either, making Saturday’s London derby vital for Unai Emery and Manuel Pellegrini to kickstart their new regimes.One of West Ham’s nine new recruits at a cost of nearly £100 million will be in familiar surroundings as Jack Wilshere returns to the Emirates after a 17-year spell with Arsenal ended in July.Emery was handed an unforgiving start with the visit of Manchester City and a trip to Chelsea to begin his reign as Arsene Wenger’s successor.But the Spaniard is fully aware of the importance of getting a win to keep the fans onside.“We need to win this match,” said Emery. “I think it’s very important to show them (the fans) a better performance than in the two first matches.”– Summertime six pointer –Huddersfield sit bottom of the Premier League © AFP / Oli SCARFFIt may still be August, but Cardiff’s visit to Huddersfield already looks crucial for both side’s chances of staying up.Unlike free-spending Fulham and Wolves, Cardiff didn’t splash much of their new found TV riches in the transfer market and are heavy favourites to go straight back down.Huddersfield are rock bottom having shipped nine goals in two games to City and Chelsea.– Golden Boot surprise runners –Richarlison has lofty ambitions for his first season at Everton © AFP / Lindsey PARNABYEverton’s trip to Bournemouth pits two of the in-form strikers of the season’s opening fortnight against one another in Richarlison and Callum Wilson.Richarlison leads the early Golden Boot race along with Sadio Mane and Sergio Aguero after scoring three goals in his first two Everton games, and his lofty ambitions for the season ahead.“I want to be the top scorer of the league, take Everton back to the Champions League and reach the Brazilian national team,” he told Brazilian media this week.Wilson has scored in each of Bournemouth’s wins over Cardiff and West Ham and could be rewarded with a call-up to the England squad next week.Fixtures (1400GMT unless stated)SaturdayWolves v Manchester City (1130), Southampton v Leicester, Arsenal v West Ham, Bournemouth v Everton, Huddersfield v Cardiff, Liverpool v Brighton (1630)SundayWatford v Crystal Palace (1230), Newcastle v Chelsea, Fulham v Burnley (1500)MondayManchester United v Tottenham (1900)0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Mauricio Pochettino has kept Spurs unified as divisions have emerged at Manchester United between Jose Mourinho, his players and the club’s board © AFP / Ben STANSALLLONDON, United Kingdom, Aug 24 – A difficult start to the season for Manchester United promises to get even worse unless Jose Mourinho can turn a tide of negative publicity and inspire a reaction from his side against Tottenham Hotspur on Monday.United already trail title favourites Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea by three points after a dreadful display in losing 3-2 to Brighton last weekend and that gap could have doubled by kick-off at Old Trafford (1900GMT) with all three expected to win again this weekend.