Public Relations & Social Media Strategies for the Travel Industry

Heidi M. Allison-Shane – Managing Director

Ms. Allison’s passion for the electronic frontier and e-commerce began in 1997 when she and best-selling author, Martin Yate, launched a website named CareerBrain. This innovative company caught the attention of the University of Michigan as it was seeking the most promising new companies on the horizon. CareerBrain received an invitation to present this web-enabled, new business career concept at The 1999 Growth Capital Symposium – University of Michigan, Graduate School of Business, Office for the Study of Private Equity Finance.

An innovative marketing and e-commerce pioneer and expert, with 15+ years of experience developing sustainable websites and e-commerce, Ms. Allison has combined her Internet expertise with her love of travel. She has counseled a wide range of successful companies in the travel industry on how to leverage the Internet to expand their markets and grow their businesses, including “The Art of Positioning Your Web Site for Maximum Visibility Among the Billions of Competitive Sites on the Internet.”

She is writer as well as an international consultant, avid traveler and entrepreneur with a world-class client list, including CruiseCompete, ResortCompete, AllThingsCruise, Expert Travel Answers, Hawaii.com, TheBritishTraveler, CruiseMembersOnly, Crown Cruise Collection, Crown Cruise Vacations, Pepsi Bottling Group, Ford Motor Company’s Beanstalk, CruiseBrothers.com, and CareerBrain.com.

Heidi traveled and lectured with Lars-Eric Lindblad, who pioneered expedition travel, or “eco-tourism,” including the first expeditions to exotic locations such as Antarctica, Bhutan, China, Easter Island and the Galapagos.

“My love of travel has also contributed to my career, which included positions with Princess Cruises, P&O, American Hawaii Cruises, Norwegian American Line, Orient Lines and American Express Meetings & Incentives. I have enjoyed over 60 cruises on numerous lines. In addition, I managed travel projects for numerous Fortune 100 companies during my tenure with American Express Groups & Incentive Services. My travels have taken me to Africa, throughout the Caribbean, Canada, Europe, Mexico, North America, Asia, and South America, where I have had the pleasure of staying and also living in numerous 4- and 5-star resorts.”

Heidi has been a guest speaker throughout her career and is quoted extensively on e-commerce and travel topics

Darla Freeman

A seasoned PR and marketing professional, Darla Freeman has extensive experience with e-commerce sites, including her own Internet business. Her experience in Communications includes marketing and sales programs and she has become heavily integrated into the virtual business and digital media world. She is Director of Customer Care for a number of travel websites.

Darla began her career in the automotive industry, where she assumed increasing responsibilities for all aspects of Communications – internal and external, including C-level executive communications. During that time she became interested in and knowledgeable about the travel industry as well. Darla is now applying her years of experience to the travel industry, including the omnipresent social media.

In addition to her automotive and travel industry experience, Darla has up-close knowledge of the workings and communications needs of small businesses and non-profit businesses.

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