If anything can show people that public relations professionals aren’t all just “spin doctors,” it’s the newest website launched by Marriott. Guests of the successful hotel chain can now post reviews on a website that is created just for them and their comments. Good or bad, you can say what you want right there on their own site. Visitors must be confirmed to have stayed at the hotel before their review will post, but once you’re cleared, post away!
PR News called the move by Marriott “brave and worthy.” I’ll second that. I think the bold move is worth every negative comment that will most assuredly be posted. Not to say their hotels are bad, but don’t we all know someone (or are someone) who likes to voice their negative opinion so others can “benefit” from their experience? Of course we do… it’s human nature. According to an article in USA Today, monitors of the site will respond to comments when necessary.
If you’re like me, when I first saw this, I thought, “Why don’t they just use Twitter like everyone else?” Well, that wouldn’t have landed them an article in USA Today or gotten praise from PR News, would it? The website is also targeted at more frequent guests of the hotel who are probably on the website more than the rest of us. Not using Twitter is a good move considering the Twitter blasts that have thrown Netflix (among many other companies) into trending-topic-level of chaos more than once. Bad news travels faster with social media, and don’t you dare forget it.
The move by Marriott is bold, it’s never been done by a hotel and it got placement in major media outlets. Kudos to you and your PR team, Marriott.