Playing Dirty

I was surprised by today’s article on USA Today that the Grand Resort Hotel in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. has filed a lawsuit against TripAdvisor for revealing that it ranked “America’s dirtiest hotel” by reviewers. The claims that those posting may have been disgruntled staff or others who had an ax to grind seem to be a stretch. Is this public image dilemma the result of a mean spirited hoax or poor  cleanliness? I tend to believe it’s a case of the latter. It seems that the GM should be taking internal action (not legal action). This an opportunity to step up your game–institute a deep cleaning property wide, adopt new inspection standards, etc. and, most importantly, communicate to guests and the traveling public what you’ve done to show your property cares about guest satisfaction and meets rigorous cleanliness standards. Instead, this legal attempt to clear the hotel’s name only makes the public more skeptical.

I firmly believe that companies that employ effective communications strategies and address issues head on are far more likely to regain the public’s trust and salvage the company reputation. I have learned in working with Newman-Dailey Resort Properties that with a dedicated team, providing exceptional customer service, delivering a consistent, clean, quality product and offering value to the  guest, it is possible to consistently receive “excellent” TripAdvisor ratings. Visitors want to tell their stories, sharing the good and bad about every aspect of their experience. This helps good companies become great. This allows caring companies to respond and address concerns quickly. The public does not expect a company to be perfect, but it does (and should) expect a fair, truthful forthright response and communication.


October 26, 2011 at 3:00 am Leave a comment

Enjoying the ride…

View from the balcony of a lovely Newman-Dailey Resort Properties condo in Mediterranea in Miramar Beach

I am enamored with words. I appreciate a great sound bite; I enjoy simple, concise messages (3’s bullets are a good rule of thumb); and l always savor a well written feature story. So you can imagine my delight when one of my first assignments was to develop a core messaging platform for Newman-Dailey Resort Properties, synergizing all lines of business in a way that resonates with target audiences/stakeholders.  As part of this project, I began with the “Discovery Phase.” By researching, studying, interviewing, and listening, I’ve discovered this company has a loyal team committed to excellence, a fun corporate culture that celebrates success, a quality and diverse product offering, strong values, incredible leadership and happy clients/customers. As part of the  process, I also had the pleasure of touring more than a dozen beautiful properties,  from cozy condos to spacious well-appointed beachside  homes. Now, I’m excited to get back to my desk to continue building a concise, consistent messaging strategy that authentically differentiates this business from its competitors (who all offer the same claims). While I’m having fun tackling this assignment, I’m also working hard to heed my own advice and enjoy the ride. Take a minute to dip my toes in the sand and smell the salt air and remember how fortunate I am to live in paradise.

September 30, 2011 at 5:12 pm Leave a comment

One month behind the wheel: Are we there yet?

One thing is certain, time is my best friend and worst enemy. In my first month, I have accomplished so much and so little at the same time. I have conducted a media/networking mission to Atlanta where I connected with some fantastic friends, colleagues, editors and freelance writers. I signed two accounts and am in the midst of a fun media relations project. I penned my first articles for Emerald Coast Magazine and Alys Beach Gazette. On one hand I feel like I’m off to a great start and time is flying. On the flip side, everything seems to move so slowly. I’m finding that writing,  feedback on proposals/press releases, securing articles, among others seem to take much longer than I anticipated. It’s the classic hurry up and wait. So my challenge to myself this month is to enjoy the ride. Enjoy the process, enjoy the new challenges, enjoy the growth, the learning… don’t let my ideas about how long it should take create anxiety and get in the way of the pleasure and excitement of owning my company, doing great work for great people and spending more time with my family. With hard work and dedication, the end result is the same: success, satisfaction, and a sense of accomplishment. So I simply need to remember to relax, smell the flowers, check out the view and enjoy the journey.

September 22, 2011 at 3:34 am Leave a comment

Hello world!

Welcome to the TLC Blog!

As I launch my new business, some have asked me to blog about my journey and I thought… good idea.  I intend for this site will be a forum for sharing lessons learned, writing commentary about relevant topics related to communications, public relations and marketing and celebrating successes. In my first week of launching TLC – Tracy Louthain Communications, LLC, I was overwhelmed by the outreach and support I received from fellow PR practitioners, friends and colleagues. I quickly realized that while this may be a competitive industry, it is full of caring professionals who will do anything to see another experience the joy of business ownership and success.  I hope that one day, I too will pay it forward.  In the meantime, I will use this forum as my voice.

Come along for the ride and share in my journey!

Tracy Louthain, APR


August 22, 2011 at 5:52 pm Leave a comment

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