Inspiration, Marketing, Public Relations

The Disney Way

There’s nothing like a vacation to rest your mind and body.  It’s also a great time to stimulate your brain and get those productive juices flowing again.

Part of our family vacation was spent at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Resort. It’s a very cool place where wild animals roam the grounds. We could look out our window and there would be a giraffe about 25 feet from us.

One of the many great things about Disney is their staff, or “cast members.” They always greet you very warmly and with a smile. Case in point, whenever we returned from the Magic Kingdom, someone said,”Welcome Home” to us.  I was taken aback a bit.  I’m clearly not “home,” but ok.

It wasn’t just the welcoming cast members, it was also how they treated us during the stay.  At dinner, they always made our kids feel on top of the world with their respect and kindness.  One woman always asked my daughter what she thought about Disney.  It added to her enjoyment.

Now, I battled writing this post because I didn’t want to be the one that wrote another “Why X can be used as an example to better your PR.” But, in this case, I can’t help it.  The whole time I was at Animal Kingdom, I thought, “If we treat our clients like they are ‘home,’ they’ll be a lot happier.” Disney is a great example of this.

By making sure that guests feel at home, they are likely to enjoy their current stay and return in the future.  We all (hopefully) do the same with our clients.  By treating them with respect, we always make them feel welcome.  This generates, most importantly, trust and comfort.

Think about it. Disney has built up a pretty good reputation over the years.  It’s the same for us as PR pros. The first time you meet a potential client, don’t you want them to feel comfortable with you?  They probably have a good idea about who you are and what you can provide, but they want to be sold.

By being open and transparent, we provide our clients with a comfortable feeling. We let them know that we are trusted partners with their best interests in mind.

Walt Disney said all your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them.  Providing our clients with great service isn’t a dream, it’s a reality.  But we can add a little more to what we do in PR everyday, by applying what the cast members told me every day of our stay: Welcome home.

Can we treat clients like they are at home? Let me know in the comments.


6 thoughts on “The Disney Way”

  1. I was incredibly lucky in my trip to Disney over New Year’s. They gave my girlfriend and I a free upgrade to a much better resort! Not a single thing went wrong for us the whole time we were there, and each cast member that saw our anniversary pins wished us a happy anniversary. They may have been forced to say it, but you wouldn’t know it from their attitude.

    I had a close friend who was down in Orlando at the same time, and plenty of things went wrong for him and his girlfriend. However, he raved about all the great things people did for him, from regular cast members all the way up to resort managers!

    I think the hardest thing for PR professionals (or any business, for that matter) to do is actually implement that kind of treatment, not because they don’t want to, but because it takes a ton of extra work. I’m glad that Walt Disney forged the right attitude into his company. Hopefully other people can learn from his successes and do something about it for their own companies.

    I’m glad that you and your family had a great time Jason. Did you find anything else interesting on your trip that you might be able to apply to work?

    1. Thanks for the comment, Nick! It was a great trip.
      The other thing that was hammered home was going the extra mile. There were more than a few instances of cast members going above the “call of duty” to make our stay great.
      We can do the same for our clients as well.

  2. What a great post and analogy, Jason! As someone who’s been to Disney quite a few times, I definitely agree that the Disney crew goes out of their way to create lasting happy memories that will get guests to keep coming back. Even when the lines are ridiculously long for rides, you can still see the crew members with a welcoming not forced smile on their face doing anything they could to make the experience great for everyone who was there.

    There’s no reason this principle to go the extra mile cannot happen in the PR industry. Our job is to provide services to our clients. There’s no reason we can’t spend the extra time to make them feel comfortable, happy and at home with our services.

    Nicely written post. I’m so glad you and your family had a magical Disney vacation.

    1. Thanks as always, Jessica!
      The cast member deal with so many rude people, too. The fact they keep a smile on is another lesson. Although you may work with a tough client, we must always smile and work hard. Eventually, the client either wises up or they move on. Either way it works out.

  3. You make a great point…right away I’m going to start making my clients wait outside in long lines just to talk to me. I’m kidding about everything except the ‘great point’ part.

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