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A different spin on internal PR 
by Darcy Silvers, APR, ABC 

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.” 

Amen. 

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.” 

Darcy Silvers is a a freelance copywriter and a professionally accredited public relations consultant. http://dsilvers.prblogs.org/

She is author of Public Relations PRimer, the NMOA’s e-book on public relations. To order, visit http://www.nmoa.org/catalog/publicity/index.htm.

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