“In marketing communications, if you want people to act on your messaging, you have to keep your language current, your approach focused on what’s-in-it-for-me and your tactics tied to ROI.”
Brooke is fascinated with words and how they impact the way messages are received and acted upon. Her early life was spent preparing to achieve the dream of becoming an English Lit professor.
She would swoon over the brilliance of John Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost; of Walt Whitman’s steam-of-conciousness style in Leaves of Grass. She’d write dissertations juxtaposing unforeseen relationships between characters, themes and concepts and wanted to contribute to the collective “body of knowledge” in literature. And oh, to teach students how to convey their own thoughts and ideas more effectively–that would be the most rewarding of all.
But when she made it to her goal as a professor at the University of Central Florida, she missed the actual “doing” of creating literary works that moved people. So she returned to her core skill of writing to lead the direction for her career ahead.
In 2004, Brooke joined Orange Lake Resorts as a staff writer. The 1,400+ acre, 2,500-unit timeshare resort was once the largest single-site timeshare development in the world. After quickly learning about the company’s rich history and expansion plans, Brooke expressed a desire to create a corporate communications team. Over the next 10 years, she headed up the development of the rapidly-growing company’s corporate communications programs, supported by a team of communications professionals.
Understanding that brand advocacy begins from the inside out, she focused on creating an employee communications strategy to reach the company’s more than 2,700 team members. She introduced all kinds of ways to increase employee engagement and two-way dialogue, including print newsletters and e-mail roundups of corporate updates, town hall meetings, letters from the CEO, community and philanthropic outreach programs and employee communication surveys to measure effectiveness.
To meet the communication needs of timeshare owners and members, she worked with the marketing and owner support teams to create a communications strategy that would focus on education, engagement and transaction. She then led the development of the company’s social media strategy and social media care program as an early adopter of these mediums, becoming one of the first in the timeshare industry to receive the Social Media Campaign award from the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) in 2011.
In addition to developing and managing these communication programs for the company, Brooke was responsible for leading public relations and corporate and crisis communications. Over the years, she led the company’s communication planning and messaging for their expansion from a single-site property to more than 10 resorts and through their rebranding to Holiday Inn Club Vacations(R). She partnered on public relations strategies and activities with Orange Lake’s strategic alliance partners at InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) to create more than 500 million online and print impressions for the Holiday Inn Club Vacations brand, becoming an ARDA Awards finalist for their Guest Blogger Program.
Brooke received her BA degree in English from Rollins College and her MA in English Literature from the University of Central Florida. She’s a frequent panelist on social media and PR strategy for the vacation ownership industry.