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How not to use Twitter?

I know that it’s widely considered to be not ‘the done thing’ for luxury hotels to unveil which celebrities have stayed with them.  Whilst many don’t, there are some who will do so – but usually relatively discretely. I was a little surprised therefore when I stumbled upon @Grosvenor_House, a hotel in London, today and spotted a number of tweets openly sharing the names of people milling about the hotel.  For example:
  • The red carpet has been laid in the forecourt and the celebrity spotters have been arriving since 6am this morning!  34 minutes ago from web
  • What an exciting day at the hotel, we have the Pride of Britain awards taking place at the hotel! So many celebrities!  about 3 hours ago from web
  • Just seen Sally Gunnell coming out of the lift after attending the Sports Ball last night at the hotel!  1:48 PM Oct 2nd from web
  • Saw Rory Bremner and The Rt Hon Peter Mandelson walking through the hotel lobby last night on their way to the Annual BRC dinner  9:45 AM Sep 24th from web
  • Former PM Tony Blair presented a speech at Grosvenor House last night on leadership  2:30 PM Sep 16th from web
Is this poor taste or just a sign of the times? Is this a classic example of how not to use Twitter? Post a comment to tell us what you think…

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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  1. Yes, this is WRONG.

    Here’s the poor taste tweet I came across from a Fox News presenter:

    LeahBeno: An 8 month old baby is dead and his dad is in jail. Find out why tonight at 9 and 10.

    She followed it up with:

    The father of the 8 month old baby that died this weekend has a very violent past. We showed you the details at 9pm. More tomorrow?

    No thanks!

  2. I think it is fine if it is in context. If the celebrities are there on “official function” like the former PM was giving a speech, then it is fine.

    If the celebrities are there for R&R or not for a function in the hotel then it is completely in poor taste. They should have peace while travelling and staying in luxury hotels.

    my 2 cents anyway

  3. Sorry but you can’t compare a dead baby with a bit of celebrity spotting. Fox news is showing extremely bad judgement and poor taste but I can’t fault the hotel.

    All those mentioned were attending high profile events that would receive plenty of media attention anyway.

    If it was Victoris Beckham has just asked for an extra rasher with her full English at breakfast then that would be a little intrusive…not to mention surprising!

  4. It rather looks as though those mentioned are attending or leaving large events held in the ballroom at Grosvenor House. It’s not quite the same as tweeting, for example, ‘Madonna has just checked in for three days in our Ridiculously Exorbitant Suite’. How excited we are by Sally Gunnell getting out of a lift can be measured, I suppose, by whether anyone bothered to retweet!

  5. When I worked on property it was always frowned upon to mention anything to the outside world about the “VIPs” who were staying, but somehow the Paperazzi always knew.

    I can only assume that their quest for business has led them to believe that, by naming those people in the hotel, it will lead to extra traffic / extra interest.

    Given that celebrities value their privacy (unless they are pimping themselves for their new book/show/DVD/etc) then this action is only likely to deter them from coming back.

    Perhaps it is a sign of the times. I guess they saved a few newspapers some cash that they would have paid the staff for the same information.

  6. I definitely think it’s wrong and as mentioned, it’s one of the “no no’s” of luxury hotels (or any hotel in fact) to openly reveal who has been or is residing with them. It sounds more like Perez Hilton tweeting than a reputable luxurious hotel.
    They should rather tweet about special offers and packages than celebrities. It makes them come across as really unreputable and I wonder what the people they mention in their tweets would actually say about this.

    And to the comment about the Fox News tweet: that is really absolutely tasteless and awful! No excuses!

  7. Its telling the paparazzi and others where certain people are. Is this a good thing? I don’t think so.
    Its probably a good way to lose clients and potential clients.

  8. I don’t really see what the problem is. This information is released to the media anyway. For example, everyone knew that there were going to be tonnes of celebrities at the Pride of Britain Awards at Grosvenor House on Monday long before the tweet!

    The only celebrities actually mentioned are those attending public events – “Sports Ball, “BRC dinner”- where the guest list and location are open for anyone to see!

    I don’t think you can really describe this as “How not to use Twitter.” How do you use Twitter?

  9. Interesting discussion. We’re so celebrity obsessed these days things like this will always be a good PR story. Does it cross the line? If the celebrities are staying in a private capacity it does. If they’re spotted in a public area or attending an event to further their own profile then why is a hotel tweeting any different than what appears in the papers?

  10. Yes privacy should be the most important aspect of any hotel/motel, telling people who is staying with you is an invasion of privacy big time!

  11. Right or wrong it is inevitable. Today everyone with a cell phone with camera and a twitter account is a reporter if they want to be.

    My guess is that this will eventually lead to even more exclusive accomodations for celebrities that cater to their need for a break from the press and a bit of privacy.

  12. That’s just what celebrities need, more ridiculously priced exclusive accommodation to get away from the stresses and strains of being so famous and wealthy. Give me a break! who do you think pays for all of their luxury anyway?, we do with our false idol worship.

    If a the hotel staff want to post about things like this to drive a little extra business their way then that’s fine by me.

  13. I think it is both a sign of the times and also a bit of an invasion of privacy. It may be only celebrities who want this extra privacy. If you look at Gowalla and Foursqaure the times are definitely changing.

  14. It was a high profile event so i am not so worried about the invasion of privacy as the pr released before hand probably already gave all their names anyway, also half the celebs are probably tweeting themselves. if they were there in a private capacity i do think it is an invasion of privacy but as someone mentioned anyone with a camera phone and internet access is a reporter themselves citizen public is alive and thriving and it is certainly not for the best!

  15. Luckily nobody would be interested in tweeting my whereabouts but i’m sure this would put celebrities staying here it’s quite intrusive!

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