ROCKVILLE, MD: Choice Hotels has hired Lorri Christou as VP of PR and external affairs.
She will oversee external communications for the company’s corporate brand and its portfolio, which includes hotel chains such as EconoLodge and Quality. Her role is focused on public, government, and investor relations, the company said in a statement.
Christou is reporting to Simone Wu, SVP, general counsel, corporate secretary, and external affairs, and overseeing two people in the company’s PR department. Her role includes corporate and brand components. Kelly Kane, VP of corporate communications, will pivot towards focusing on internal and franchise communications, and Christou will focus on external comms.
"In addition to helping tell the corporate narrative, I will also oversee the brands’ PR work," she said.
She was most recently SVP of strategic marketing and communications at the Cruise Line International Association for two years. Christou has also held senior roles at Edelman and FleishmanHillard and was VP of integrated comms at Dairy Management Inc., according to her LinkedIn account.
The company’s holdings include more than 6,400 hotels franchised in 40-plus countries and territories, according to a statement. Its subsidiary brands include Cambria, Comfort Inn, Sleep Inn, and Econo Lodge.
Choice works with Cohn & Wolfe, which handles corporate and brand communications, and Philadelphia-based Tierney, which supports its "upscale brands."
Choice Hotels CEO Steve Joyce was among the business leaders who signed a letter earlier this year calling for Mississippi to repeal a religious freedom law that critics said would enable discrimination against the LGBT community. The letter was organized by Human Rights Campaign.
The company is also expanding into Greece, developing five hotels, the first of which will open by the summer of 2017 in Athens under the Comfort brand, according to HospitalityNet. In the U.S., Choice has partnered with prominent online travel agency Ctrip to cater to the needs of Chinese tourists.
This story was updated on December 7 with quotes from Christou and additional information.