A century of stories: How Hilton highlighted staff for its centennial

In his Ragan conference keynote at Disneyland, Lou Dubois details how the global hotelier put the focus on employees and guests, offering takeaways for enthusiastic attendees.

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Storytelling tips from Hilton

A century makes for plenty of stories—especially when you have global name recognition.

Having invented the piña colada helps, too.

“Stories make you relatable,” said Lou Dubois, global director of content for Hilton Worldwide, in opening his keynote address on Day Two of Ragan’s Brand Storytelling and Content Marketing Conference. “Tell a good brand story, and people will see you as an extension of who they are—but only if you put people at the forefront of that story, not the brand.”

Before he even took the stage, Dubois tapped into the notion of a strong brand—not Hilton’s, but that of the conference host, Disney. Opening chants from “Circle of Life” from “The Lion King” inspired the gathering crowd at Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

In his address, Dubois offered these key takeaways:

1. Lean into your past. Hilton recently celebrated its 100th anniversary and launched a content campaign to spotlight and promote the milestone.

Dubois thinks more companies could embrace their legacies for storytelling opportunities. “Understand where you come from—it will help you get where you’re going,” he said.

Your corporate archives are a great place to start.

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