The Royal Continental Hotel in Naples (Italy) has been working to be more sustainable between 2008 and 2010. When they had achieved a certain number of results, they decided to promote these through a comic, in English and Italian, called “Mr Royal- respect and save the environment”. It is the first time I have seen a hotel do this, and well worth getting it. READ IT ONLINE
They chose this format to make what is operational information, usually communicated as unappealing text in management speak, more attractive to users. While their audience was not clearly defined, they still went ahead with contracting a cartoonist. They explain one action per two page spread, cleverly promoting 10 suppliers, who in turn contributed EUR3,000 each to get this endorsement and financed the whole project. 10,000 copies have been printed, distributed through the hotel, in tourism fairs and in the hotel association. Management believes this has improved the reputation of the hotel amongst its peers, has gained corporate clients’ appreciation, and while it has not attracted first time customers, it has helped to gain loyalty.
None of this has however been measured, and it is an isolated marketing effort. It is interesting to see how the fantastic booklet is at odds with the rest of the image the hotel gives, proving once more that most sustainability communications are tangential, as we can see from the hotel’s website. Any ideas on how to help this hotel make better use of their comic? What can we learn from their experience?