Apartment Marketing, Entertainment, Published Articles, Video

Reputation Management Theater

June 27, 2016

Originally published on the GTMA Blog.

Once in a while an idea comes that’s good, but not great. So the idea festers for a long time until maybe, if you’re lucky, a new version of that same idea blossoms out of a random conversation that reminds you of the first idea and lighting strikes.

My digital agency for multifamily, GoToMyApartment, has a reputation management department with some outstandingly positive team members who face off with haters all day long. I also do a lot of speaking on the topic of reputation management in industries like hospitality, multifamily, entertainment and more. So with all of that negativity in mind, and for therapeutic reasons, I thought it would be a great idea to point out the humor that can be found in some of those terribly written and completely inappropriate reviews that my team has had to address by having them performed. I pictured a smoking jacket, or one of those overly edited YouTube videos where my team tries to read the ramblings of an obvious moron, but for whatever reason, we never got the idea shot.

Then, one glorious day, Jason and I were chatting about old ideas, like that one where we read really poorly written Yelp reviews to camera, and it came to me like a lighting bolt — SHAKESPEAREAN ACTORS! Yes, employ thespians trained in the language of the Bard to deliver the ramblings of the angry internet Yelp user word-for-word in all of its glory.

Introducing Reputation Management Theater:

We literally shot 10 episodes, so head over to GTMA’s blog for more, if you think you can stomach it. Oh, and guess what, the series won an award at the Apartment Internet Marketing conference! Thanks for watching!


Digital Marketing, Published Articles, Restaurant Marketing, Video

Food Network Debut on Top 5

February 14, 2016

Originally featured on the Food Network.

Sometimes it really pays to be a restaurant and hospitality consultant. I was fortunate enough, while visiting and working with my client Lettuce Entertain You, to not only be treated for lunch at RPM Steak, (by far the best steakhouse I’ve ever been too), but also participate in shooting a feature for the Food Network show Top Restaurants. They were rating the top 5 best steaks and they decided to use my furrowed brow in the piece. I look angry, but I promise, the steak was divine.

Chef Doug Psaltis and partners RJ and Jerrod Melman really know how to put on a show. The Duke, the steak I devoured, was tender, delicious, juicy and everything you could ever want in a steak. The decor is modern and chic with just enough energy to feel like you’re really out somewhere special, but not so much that you’re unable to carry on a conversation. This is a must stop for all steak lovers, fish lovers and just diners in general looking for a vibrant restaurant with outstanding service and delicious food.

Here’s the piece:

Thanks for watching and I’ll see you online!
Published Articles, Restaurant Marketing

Marketing to Millennials Talk at NRA Show

May 25, 2015
NRA Show National Restaurant Show Joshua Swanson

I was invited to speak at the 2015 National Restaurant Show and the topic I chose was “Understand & Engage Millennials Using Social.” As a restaurant marketing consultant I spend a lot of time trying to identify campaigns that will compel first time diners to try your restaurant. Currently, your biggest potential audience is Millennials. Below I’ve linked to my slide show from my NRA Show talk and embedded a few fun tweets sent out by the 500 or so in attendance.


Here’s the summary of the talk:

How do Millennials think, feel and act and how can Restaurant Professionals turn these characteristics into covers? If we as restauranteurs can understand this generation and what inspires them to take action, then we can craft successful marketing messages and achieve our goals of filling our tables with this powerful individualistic and creative generation.

My strategy is always to start with the data. For instance, at 92 million strong Millennials are the largest generation in history. Born between 1980 – 2000, they grew up in an era of high-tech / high-touch. For restaurateurs, knowing that 42% of the 92 million Millennials visit upscale casual restaurants once per month means it’s important to embrace this generation as the next group of potential new customers. My talk focused on dissecting generalizations about this inspiring generation and then extracting actionable marketing campaigns to reach this audience.


Restaurant Marketing Consultant Joshua Swanson