Open-mindedness, creativity, and competitiveness—these are three things needed to succeed in the world of public relations, according to Melanie Samonte-Pallorina, public relations manager of Diamond Hotel.
“In PR, there’s no limit to what you can do—you have to be prepared to do anything and everything. You have to be able to think out of the box,” advised Pallorina.
From the start, Pallorina had it all figured out that she would be practicing her craft in hotels.
“I enjoy being a PR practitioner in hotel because it’s very dynamic—basically, you won’t get bored. There’s always something new and there’s always something going on. You meet different people and you collaborate with different establishments and organizations,” she said.
After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in Marketing Management at De La Salle University in 1995, she took her baby steps in Hotel Sofitel (now Grand Boulevard Hotel). She then moved to Westin Philippine Plaza in 1999 and worked there as a marketing communications assistant, then as PR manager. After eight years in Westin, which rebranded into Sofitel Philippine Plaza, she shifted to Taal Vista Hotel as assistant director for marketing communications for a year. She then landed at Diamond Hotel as PR manager.
Advertising, sales and promotions, and public relations are all realms of marketing, according to Pallorina. Initially, she was gearing herself towards the advertising domain because that was where she spent her internship. But after seeing a job advertisement looking for a marketing communications assistant, she decided to go to the PR side when she entered the hotel industry.
As PR manager of a hotel, Pallorina’s primary responsibility is image building. This includes forming relationships with the media and the hotel’s corporate identity. She said multi-tasking is part of her job as well, as the hotel’s PR department also handles the social media.
Additionally, they assist in hotel promotions and they make sure all these are disseminated to public via the media. And since it is also part of the hotel’s branding, they also handle corporate social responsibility.
“Company with a heart,” Pallorina explained. “We make sure it’s not just all business, but also genuine commitment to its advocacies.”
Diamond Hotel’s CSR focuses on the city of Manila. One of the beneficiaries is the Malate Church, which is currently in the process of rehabilitation. The hotel constantly supports the church by sponsoring, donating, and assisting its projects. Also part of the CSR is the Manila Bay Cleanup Drive, where volunteer employees participate once or twice a year.
As for events, they have been partnering with a lot of companies and organizers of concert shows, where they earn mileage and exposure.
“With projects that happen every year, plus the special events and collaborations, there’s always a feeling of fulfillment after,” she beamed.
GLADYS G. ALTAMARINO