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Qatari company buys Viceroy Miami for $65M, now a W Hotel by Starwood

The Viceroy Miami hotel was acquired for $64.5 million by a Qatari company, which has renamed the property W Miami.

Al Rayyan Tourism Investment Company, the international hotel investment and hospitality subsidiary of Al Faisal Holding Company, one of Qatar’s largest private industry groups, bought the hotel, according to a release from the Qatari firm. The hotel is now part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ W Hotels brand, ARTIC announced.

West Hollywood, California-based Viceroy Hotel Group previously operated the 148-room hotel at 485 Brickell Avenue. On Friday, a Viceroy spokesperson declined to comment on whether the hotel’s management was to change hands. As of Wednesday, employees answered the phone as the W Miami.

Messages left for Starwood spokespeople were not returned.

The deal breaks down to about $436,000 per hotel room.

The property is part of the 10-acre Icon Brickell complex in the Brickell neighborhood. Amenities include a 28,000-square-foot spa and fitness center, a restaurant on the 15th floor and FIFTY lounge on the 50th floor. The Related Group completed the tower in 2008. The three-building complex was designed by Arquitectonica.

“W Miami is a magnificent property which we are proud to add to our expanding U.S. investment portfolio,” H.E. Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani, chairman of ARTIC, said in a statement. “It is our fifth investment in the U.S. and our second in Miami and its acquisition, which is fully in line with our targeted strategic approach, demonstrates the strides which ARTIC is successfully making in the global arena. It is an outstanding hotel in every way: location, quality and architectural design.”

ARTIC’s other South Florida property is the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort. The company also owns Radisson Blu in Chicago, the St. Regis Washington D.C. and the Manhattan at Times Square W Hotel in New York. Overall, ARTIC’s portfolio includes 24 hotels and projects in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and North America, the company said.

With the changes in ownership and management company, W Miami will now undergo a renovation that will create a “W Living Room” on the hotel’s 15th floor overlooking Biscayne Bay, according to a release from W Hotels. In addition, the 50th floor rooftop will be transformed with a cocktail lounge and WET deck.

Pebblebrook Hotel Trust previously owned the Viceroy, paying $37 million in 2011. Pebblebrook, based in Bethesda, Maryland, could not be reached for comment, but the publicly traded company announced the sale on Wednesday.

Hodges Ward Elliott, a hotel brokerage and investment-banking firm, represented Pebblebrook in this most recent sale.

The pool deck at Icon Brickell, shared by condo residents and hotel guests, is the focal point of major litigation. The three towers’ condo associations are suing the project’s general contractor John Moriarty & Associates over alleged problems with the pool, parking garage and maintenance. An employee on Wednesday at the hotel said the pool is open and operating.

Hotel rooms at the now W include 42-inch TVs, marble bathrooms and mini bars. Units with kitchens and washer/dryers are available for a minimum of three days.

Marriott International is acquiring Starwood Hotels & Resorts in a deal valued at $12.4 billion. The takeover will create the world’s largest hotel operator, although it’s already the subject of a number of lawsuits across the country.

In South Florida, Starwood operates two W hotels: the W South Beach and the W Fort Lauderdale.

The Next Miami first reported that the Viceroy may become a W last week.

21 Tweetable Tips to Help You Win More New Business

What is the best method for new business success?

This loaded question is one I get all the time.

The fact is there’s no magic bullet with new business. It takes patience, perseverance, and truly wanting to make a real difference for a particular brand. And after 15 years of managing numerous agency reviews, I’d say it comes down to two words: timing and relationships.

I recall speaking to the CMO of a small financial company. I asked her how agencies that are prospecting for her business get her attention? The answer was simple. “If they reach out at the right time with relevant information to help solve my issue at hand, I will be interested in learning more about what they are offering.”

That means you need to stay motivated to keep reaching out, to better understand your prospects, and to make your agency ready for its next relationship.

Whether you’re a seasoned new business executive or you’re green to the scene, there’s always time for a quick tip to help tip the pitch in the winning direction. These bite-sized insights can help you improve and win more new clients. Tweet to share the wisdom.

21 Tweetable Tips to Jumpstart Your New Biz Efforts

1) Consumers have a PhD in advertising today. Be sure to help marketers share their brand’s authentic purpose. twitter-logo

2) Culture isn’t a bunch of values hanging on a wall. Its beliefs brought to life daily through current and new relationships. twitter-logo

3) At the end of a pitch process, it comes down to two vital factors: talent and chemistry. twitter-logo

4) Marketers’ top reason to disqualify an agency in consideration? They think they can address our needs with little client input. twitter-logo

5) Prospecting? Don’t show how your agency can solve every problem because it can’t! Show how you’re solution-oriented with relevant examples. twitter-logo

6) How to get your agency to stand out from the crowd? Launch a comprehensive PR campaign and don’t be afraid to self-promote. twitter-logo

7) Offer a free two-week ramp up period as part of your proposal and show you have skin in the game. twitter-logo

8) Agencies must shift the perspective from being an expenditure to an investment. twitter-logo

9) Major reason for agency review? Agency became complacent with the brand business. twitter-logo

10) Lost the pitch? Continuing sharing thought leadership content and show authentic interest for the next opportunity! twitter-logo

11) Be sure to address the junior clients in the room. They “grow up” fast & often have more say in the decision than you think! twitter-logo

12) Great clients make mediocre agencies strong. Weak clients make great agencies ineffective. Help mktrs be involved with the agency. twitter-logo

13) The only thing we sell is relationships. twitter-logo

14) Passion is powerful. Everything else is the price of entry. twitter-logo

15) How to lose a pitch? Harp on proprietary tools and process! twitter-logo

16) Every agency has only one proprietary tool — your people! twitter-logo

17) What do clients primarily want? Great creative and to be pushed to the next level. twitter-logo

18) Brands should no longer be nouns. Help marketers to turn their brand into a verb. twitter-logo

19) You can’t manage what you can’t measure! Be sure to offer insights on analytics. twitter-logo

20) New biz is everyone’s business, but be sure to have a dedicated person committed to it or it quickly becomes no one’s business. twitter-logo

21) Treat your current clients like prospects and your prospects like current clients. twitter-logo

Excerpted from New Biz in 140 Characters (or Less) by Lisa Colantuono, which provides new business people of every level with an abundance of actionable new biz tips to improve their results.


How to Find Great Writers: 6 Places to Start Your Search

Most content managers are always on the lookout for new guest bloggers — especially those struggling with internal bandwidth.

Oppositely, those dealing with a packed editorial calendar can still benefit from making room for a fresh perspective every now and then.

In short: Working with guest contributors can deliver a ton of benefits. It serves as a great way to start a new relationship or further an existing one. It frees up your time to create other content. And if you’re working together to create a piece of co-marketing content, you can count on some added attention once it goes live.

Here’s the thing, though: All of that is only possible when you’re working with the right contributor.

Where do you find writers that can bring new value to your audience? I’ll walk through a handful of options below.

How to Find Great Guest Bloggers

1) Check out forums and communities.

Participating in online communities, industry forums, and social bookmarking sites will introduce you to different people creating content in your niche.

When it comes to finding suitable guest contributors, you’ll want to look for two types of community members:

  • Content creators: These are people — typically other content marketers — already writing blog posts on other sites. Those posts are then shared and discussed in the communities.
  • Discussion starters: These are the people that create engaging, long-form posts on forums and discussion sites themselves. They know how to write something that prompts a reaction, and can convey their ideas clearly and intelligently — even if they’re not a professional writer.

These people can pop up anywhere on those sites, and regularly participating will make it easier for you to build relationships with them.

For Mention’s blog, I regularly browse for possible contributors. I like to look at popular shared posts, popular comments on “Ask Inbound” posts, and trending discussions.


2) Sift through your blog comments.

Another way to identify people with both smart ideas and great writing skills is to look at blog comments — both on your own blog and others in your industry.

Few marketers still take the time to write thoughtful comments. These days, most of us take the conversation to social media with short commentary. So you can bet that someone who puts work into making a blog comment impressive will add the same effort to a blog post.

If a commenter shares an idea that sounds like it could translate into a valuable post, invite them to write it with you.

This is actually how I ended up writing a post for HubSpot a few years ago:


As a blogger, it’s pretty flattering when someone brings up something small you randomly shared months ago, so this guest blogging invitation tends to stand out in a writer’s memory.

And as the blog’s manager, this strategy works great for creating related or interconnected content. The guest blogger’s post will relate (and link) back to the one they originally commented on, and you can develop it further into a guest series.

3) Keep in touch with HARO connections.

Help a Reporter Out, or HARO, is a PR service dedicated to making connections. Journalists, bloggers, marketers, and PR pros can sign up for free.

Through a few daily emails, HARO helps writers find sources or quotes for upcoming content. It’s a great resource for getting press coverage, but that’s just the direct and immediate benefit. There are other ways it can help you out, too.

When you connect with people — either as a source or as a content creator — keep track of everyone you’ve successfully interacted with.

Then, instead of letting your relationship end with that “Hey, I used your quote!” email, keep things going. Bring up further collaboration or guest posting, or suggest they write about a related topic to promote the work they used HARO for.

4) Keep tabs on PR coverage.

You also want to keep in mind anyone who has mentioned your company in a great piece of content before. The fact that they’ve mentioned you before gives you an advantage.

One caveat here: Remember that this isn’t about your product. When you’re browsing through old coverage, you should be looking for great writing and insights, not just how good they made your brand sound.

Once you’ve found a few pieces, reach out to the authors. They’re already writing in your niche, so they know the ropes. And if they’ve mentioned you specifically, they might also be familiar with your product and audience … meaning they’re equipped to write a post that your readers will love.

This is probably the #1 way we find writers for the Mention blog. I’m always on the lookout for blog posts talking about our platform. And any time I come across one that really impresses me, I’ll try to get in contact with the writer to let them know they have a standing invitation.

5) Follow Quora questions.

Great content is supposed to answer questions, right?

Well, that’s literally what Quora power users spend all their time doing. And the Quora users that are really devoted to the platform toil over answers the way content marketers obsess over headlines.

Take a look at this answer from Chandan Trehan, one of the most viewed writers of answers about digital marketing:


[Read the full thread here] 

It’s over 1,000 words, is divided up into different sections, and includes in-depth explanations, as well examples.

Sounds a lot like a blog post, doesn’t it?

6) Follow your favorites closely.

It’s likely that you already have a handful of blogs that you read on a regular basis. Start there.

Do they accept guest posts? Which contributors do you enjoy reading the most? Do they guest post for other blogs?

Start paying attention and monitoring the guest authors on popular sites, as well as your niche favorites. That way, when you write your email pitch, you’ll be able to better talk about their business and recent content.

Building Your Contributor List

It’s always great to have a bunch of close relationships with writers in your niche. Guest blogging can be convenient and beneficial, and can often lead to more collaboration opportunities. Who doesn’t want more ways to build their network?

How do you find guest bloggers for your company? Share your ideas in the comments below.


How to Get Featured on the First Page of SlideShare!!


ery meta, we know. 

When it comes to SlideShare marketing, there’s no better feeling than seeing your prized presentation featured on the SlideShare homepage.

In addition to giving a boost to your self-esteem, landing a presentation on the first page of SlideShare will give your performance metrics a boost.

With 70 million people checking out the SlideShare website monthly, it’s no surprise that nabbing one of those coveted “featured” spots has the potential to send your presentation’s views, likes, and shares into overdrive.

Of course, talking about earning a place on the SlideShare homepage is one thing. Actually doing it? Not so easy. As is the case with many marketing channels, there’s no magic formula that can guarantee success. That being said, the team at Venngage recently reached out to some SlideShare pros to gather their tips for reaching the SlideShare homepage. Check out their advice in the presentation below.

Know any other tips for landing your presentation on the SlideShare homepage? Leave a comment below.