If you’ve ever stayed at a Ritz-Carlton hotel, you know that when it comes to customer service, the Ritz does it right. Every employee—from the bell hops to the bartenders—makes you feel welcome. And special.
So what’s this got to do with PR? Everything.
Think about it. If you’ve had a more than pleasant stay at a Ritz-Carlton, you’re going to tell your family and friends about it. Some might call this word-of-mouth or buzz marketing. I call it brilliant PR.
On the contrary, if you’ve had a less-than-satisfactory experience, you’re also likely to tell others about it. Buzz gone bad.
So the Ritz makes sure you’re welcomed with open arms. Every employee greets you with a smile and a “Good morning, ” “Good afternoon” or “Good evening. ”
As William Aruda notes on the MarketingProfs.com site: “Every employee gets it. They just get it—and are able to deliver on it consistently. That is what makes the Ritz-Carlton brand synonymous with extreme customer service, and that’s what turns customers into evangelists. ”
So what can other businesses learn from the Ritz? They can incorporate customer service best practices into their employee training. They need to rethink how they think about PR.
At its most basic level, PR is not about a fancy-schmancy press kit or how many mentions your business gets in the media. It’s about customer service, plain and simple. That’s why it’s called public relations. A business that can relate well to its customers understands the importance of PR.
Maybe “PR” really stands for “Puttin’ on the Ritz. ”
Specializing in e-commerce and direct mail, copywriter Darcy Silvers began her career in journalism and still gets an adrenaline rush from deadline pressure. She “defected" to advertising, working for Orlando's RY&P and suburban Philly's TJP agencies, where she wrote copy for Nabisco, M&M/Mars, Johnson & Johnson and more. Her passion is PR; she served as PR director for a 7-county governmental agency in Florida, and is accredited via PRSA and IABC. http://home.comcast.net/~thehiredhand/