Speaker: Joe Romanelli will be speaking in Bermuda. *Photo supplied
Speaker: Joe Romanelli will be speaking in Bermuda. *Photo supplied

He handles PR for the Boston Marathon and he can tell you how to promote tourism products using social media. 

Joseph Romanelli of Romanelli Communications is a featured presenter at the upcoming social media summit being put on by The Bermuda Chamber of Commerce and Bermuda Sun. 

Making Social Media Work for Your Business will be held on October 17 and 18 at Bermuda Chamber of Commerce and HSBC Harbourview. 

Asked what the biggest changes have been in PR over the years, Mr Romanelli said: “I think the biggest change and largely due to social media, you used to have time to craft the message. 

“It was like putting on a suit and going out on the town. Since social media, you’re inviting everyone to see you in your bathrobe and curlers. 

“I think that’s been the biggest change because authenticity is such a huge element. Now, it’s more about telling your story and having more authenticity.”

His firm handled the aftermath of the bombings at this year’s Boston Marathon. 

Mr Romanelli said: “Right after the race, I think the biggest thing that the marathon was concerned with was trying to cooperate with an ongoing investigation, so there wasn’t a lot to comment on.

“Communicating with the athletes and doing the best job you can with your core constituencies. Take care of what you can. 

“There wasn’t much else you could do. Trying to get as much information out there, honouring the victims, there was a lot of that type of thing.

“There wasn’t a lot we could comment on publicly — we were trying to work with media. Most people were understanding.”

On social media within tourism, Mr Romanelli said: “People in tourism, it’s like what do you do with bad reviews or if you have a crisis on your property. 

“The difficulty with negative reviews is one thing and how to handle that. 

“Dealing with bloggers in general and customer service in this new world of social media allows everyone to be a publisher in their own right. 

“I’ll definitely cover the options are out there, Four Square, Trip Advisor, setting up your location in Google Plus. I’ll teach a bit on Facebook promotions, specifically that’s my link to Bermuda story. We did one for Gosling’s and Tucker’s Point.”

Mr Romanelli said one thing that is key is getting clients to think differently about marketing. When you think they have figured it out, something changes. 

“We tend to push people towards doing one element of social media well. You can kind of grow from there. 

“I see other ones where people will put up one video and never do it again because they have gone to Facebook or Twitter. 

“One thing we always say, especially to the hotel businesses is how important a review is on Trip Advisor vs Facebook or Twitter. 

“It’s the equivalent of a phone ringing. You have got to answer. You can learn a lot just by how the property responds.” 

Register online at the Chamber of Commerce website: www.bermudachamber.bm. Click here for the full agenda.