Saturday, 28 July 2012

Public relations 101: Clean out your ears

Those who know me might say that I'm a loud mouthed bitch, and a bit of a complainer.

All I can say, in my own defense, is that I simply like to see things done right.

I'm the first one to congratulate someone on a job well done. In fact, after doing an interview last week, I commended the public relations person on her professionalism in front of her boss.

She was quite tickled.

I don't do this very often.

That's because almost every person who does p.r. absolutely, categorically, sucks at it.

In my recent incarnation as a magazine writer, I'm constantly having to badger flaks to get them to return my emails or phone calls. Need information? Feggedabodit. So I'm finding myself forging ahead and calling their bosses or their colleagues who usually end up giving me the info instead of the p.r.

I worked with one of the most useless of these people at a previous job. Everytime there was an important announcement she'd go on vacation leaving the rest of us to do her job. I hate that. That's why I don't work in an office anymore.

But I find the squeaky wheel, in fact, gets lubed.

Except at my gymnasty.

At my gymnasty, you complain to someone, they smile, nod and say they'll take care of it. You come back the next day and the problem -- whether it's a machine not working or a paper towel dispenser unfilled -- is usually in the same state.

What's wild about all this is the fact the gymnasty has more staff than clients. At least 15 personal trainers looking bored at their watches while they put flabbies through their paces. Six people cleaning the same windows. Ten people behind the service desk not giving any service.

There are a number of bright staff assigned to the selling of memberships, and they're pretty good at it. Trouble with this establishment is that nobody has  taught the little keeners about retention.

Public relations is all about giving the end customer a good experience. People want to feel listened to. They don't want to be ignored.

Today, I was anxious to get to the gym and work out while watching the 2012 Olympics. I just love the Olympics and watching the games gives me inspiration. So I watched beach volleyball on one eliptical, then moved to the harder machine and found the television wasn't working. Pissed me right off.

Then I travelled across the floor to my beloved rowing machine which sits in front of two gigantic television screens, both playing the NFL channel. What?

I don't follow football much, but I think the NFL is in pre-season. All you see on the NFL channel is a bunch of big blokes talking about football -- with the sound off!

Don't you think one of the many geniuses might have realized people who go to the gym like to watch relevant sports, especially when the Olympics are on? Guess they paid for the package and wanted to get their money's worth.

I complained about this the other day.

The other day, both big televisions were on NFL and I suggested to the girl at the front counter that she needed to change at least one station. She smiled, nodded and said she'd take care off it.

Obviously, she didn't do her job.

It was too much trouble to go down and talk to her again. Besides, I was already finished my workout and I was in a hurry to get home and put on The Olympics.

Tomorrow, I'm amping up my campaign to get these customer service girls to do their bloody jobs.

I'm going to go straight to the desk and stand there until they change the channel. Or, I'm going to follow them about to see that it's done.

It's about national pride after all.

I'm also going to bring them a piece of paper and ask them to share it with the other staff.

Guide to Public Relations 101

The customer is always right.

Always return phone calls and emails.

And take the bloody television off the NFL channel when I ask you to.

Too much?

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