Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Patterson

Burns Patterson

Executive Vice President, Middleton & Gendron

Burns Patterson is Executive Vice President at Middleton & Gendron (www.mg-pr.com) a New York-based PR and brand communications agency that is one of the country’s leading hospitality, travel and lifestyle agencies. Mr. Patterson also heads the agency’s digital practice. His 20+ years in public relations have included roles as director of public relations for Madison Square Garden Sports Properties, and director of PR and new media for Historic Hudson Valley. Headquartered in New York City, M&G is a mid-sized public relations and brand communications agency with an office in Los Angeles, and affiliate partners in London, Dublin, Frankfurt, Velden (Austria), Mexico City, Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo. The agency is staffed by former journalists, corporate communications professionals, agency veterans and rising stars. Over the past eight years at M&G, Mr. Patterson has led account teams for travel and hospitality clients including: Orbitz; Wyndham Hotels and Resorts; KSL Resorts; Capella Hotels and Resorts; Elegant Hotels; Flight Options; and MeetingTrader. He has also directed social influence marketing campaigns or specific social media promotions for The Setai Fifth Avenue; La Costa Resort & Spa; Sanctuary Resort & Spa; The Homestead; and the Trump Hotel Collection, among many other clients. Beyond the travel and hospitality sector, Mr. Patterson leads the account teams for Chopin Vodka, currently running his favorite Facebook photo contest, titled “Show Your Bartender Some Love,” and for American Water (NYSE; AWK), the nation’s largest publicly-traded water and wastewater utility. The most popular recent M&G client among Mr. Patterson's kids, though, has been FAO Schwarz, the world’s most famous toy store. Mr. Patterson lives with his family in Sleepy Hollow, NY. He can be reached on Facebook at www.facebook.com/burnspatterson or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/burnspatterson.

Mr. Patterson can be contacted at 212-980-9060 or bpatterson@mg-pr.com

Coming up in April 2018...

Guest Service: Empowering People

Excellent customer service is vitally important in all businesses but it is especially important for hotels where customer service is the lifeblood of the business. Outstanding customer service is essential in creating new customers, retaining existing customers, and cultivating referrals for future customers. Employees who meet and exceed guest expectations are critical to a hotel's success, and it begins with the hiring process. It is imperative for HR personnel to screen for and hire people who inherently possess customer-friendly traits - empathy, warmth and conscientiousness - which allow them to serve guests naturally and authentically. Trait-based hiring means considering more than just a candidate's technical skills and background; it means looking for and selecting employees who naturally desire to take care of people, who derive satisfaction and pleasure from fulfilling guests' needs, and who don't consider customer service to be a chore. Without the presence of these specific traits and attributes, it is difficult for an employee to provide genuine hospitality. Once that kind of employee has been hired, it is necessary to empower them. Some forward-thinking hotels empower their employees to proactively fix customer problems without having to wait for management approval. This employee empowerment—the permission to be creative, and even having the authority to spend money on a customer's behalf - is a resourceful way to resolve guest problems quickly and efficiently. When management places their faith in an employee's good judgment, it inspires a sense of trust and provides a sense of higher purpose beyond a simple paycheck. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.