Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Guitar

Laura Guitar

EVP + Partner, rbb Communications

Laura Guitar leads Reputation & Risk Advisors, a division of rbb Communications, focusing on issues, crisis and reputation management.

Ms. Guitar's experience includes strategic communications programming for clients across a wide range of industries. This includes crisis preparedness planning, issue-oriented campaigns, litigation communications, and programs to mitigate risk and reputational impact including during M&A transactions. Laura is specifically focused on mitigating digital and social reputation impacts associated with major brands, corporations and high-profile individuals.

Her experience includes:

. Participation as a member of Delta Airlines' national crisis response team, with responsibility for on-site crisis response support as needed.

. Development of a comprehensive crisis response plan for a multi-location pediatric specialty healthcare system and training to support multi-level/discipline staff execution of the plan.

. On-call crisis counsel for the world's largest fast food restaurant franchise company.

. Crisis counsel for several law firms, including strategic communications support for the multi-state class action lawsuit filed against a German-based Chinese drywall manufacturer.

. Crisis support for one of the largest independent retailers of wine and spirits in the US.

. Positioning program to offset negative media coverage and business impacts around a medical malpractice lawsuit targeting the largest physician practice group in the Southeast.

. Advocacy campaign for a pediatric healthcare system planning to establish a new children's hospital in Medical City at Lake Nona. Working with local and state elected officials, community organizations, and key influencers, the campaign facilitated state approval in the form of a Certificate of Need in a record 22-month timeframe despite significant opposition.

Ms. Guitar has served a wide range of clients including the Walt Disney Company, Publix, GE Healthcare, the Chinese Ministry of Rail, the University of Florida and multiple health care systems. A graduate of Rollins College, she has been recognized for her professional accomplishments and volunteer efforts with a variety of industry and community awards.

Please visit http://www.rbbcommunications.com for more information.

Ms. Guitar can be contacted at +1 305-249-1147 or laura.guitar@rbbcommunications.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Law: Protecting Guest Privacy

Every business is obligated to protect their customers from identity theft but unfortunately, data breaches have become all too common. In an effort to protect a guest's right to privacy and to safeguard their personal data, the European Union passed a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that could hold hotels legally liable for any breaches that expose a customer's sensitive personal information. Though the GDPR only pertains to EU citizens' data, any international business that mishandles their data can be legally responsible. Another legal issue of concern is the fight involving hotel "resort fees." Several states attorney generals have recently filed suit against two major hotel chains in an effort to litigate this practice. Their suit alleges that these companies are "engaged in deceptive and misleading pricing practices and their failure to disclose fees is in violation of consumer protection laws." The suit seeks to force the hotel chains to advertise the true price of their hotel rooms. There are several other legal issues that the industry is being forced to address. Sexual harassment prevention in the workplace is still top of mind for hotel employers-particularly in New York and California, which now statutorily require harassment training. Hotels and motels in California will also soon be required to train all their employees on human trafficking awareness. Immigration issues are also of major concern to hotel employers, especially in the midst of a severe labor shortage. The government is issuing fewer H2B visas for low-skilled workers, as well as J-1 visas for temporary workers. Though there is little hope for any comprehensive immigration reform, hotel lobbying groups are actively seeking legal remedies to alleviate this problem. These are just a few of the critical issues that the December issue of the Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.