When the Fairmont Empress (@FairmontEmpress) in Victoria BC sent a DM (direct message) tweet with an invitation to come down and try out their new Hoyne Honey Hefe – made by Hoyne Brewery, using Empress Hotel’s own honey – my response was ‘Twist my rubber arm’. The Fairmont Empress is a Victoria: no, let’s be clear, a world wide known hotel (and way out of my price range) and having known Sean Hoyne from his years as brewmaster at Canoe Brewpub, the match was made.
Not knowing the format for the meeting, I arrived at the Empress Hotel with no set ideas, and was truly pleasantly surprised at how Angela Rafuse (@HotelGoddess), and the Empress staff had created an intimate, small gathering. Angela is an executive at the hotel and, in her words, wanted to get the word out on how they made the connection with Hoyne Brewery. So what better way than asking a few people who can get the word out through social media, and make a personal connection.
This is what other local businesses and organizations should be doing. There are so many local people with blogs, on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms and with influential networks. The mindset of tasking resources and spend solely towards traditional media is rapidly changing, and frankly the approach by Fairmont Empress staff is refreshing. While the participants – Mike Dewolfe (@dewolfe001), Susan Martin (@suziezed) and myself know each other, we rarely connect in real life – and Angela gracefully offered an opportunity for all to share…. that is the key, an opportunity for serendipity.
The food was fantastic, and perfectly matched to compliment Hoyne’s Brewery beer. As good was sitting at a table, on the Empress verandah, overlooking Victoria’s amazing harbour and openly discussing all sorts of issues: creating a relationship. Well done Angela – you have reinforced what others should see – make the connections…