Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Gaulin

Sorya Gaulin

Director, Corporate Public Relations, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts

You already know Sorya Gaulin. You have read about her in news stories. She is ďThe Woman Who Declined to Comment.Ē Ms.Gaulin became the Director of Corporate PR at Four Seasons in July of 2007. In 2010, she added Social Media to her roster, underscoring her expertise as a highly innovative and integrated marketer. In her role, she oversees all PR and Social Media agencies on a global basis. Having been a journalist once herself, Ms.Gaulin comes to Four Seasons with a keen understanding of what makes a compelling story. As a seasoned traveler, she takes a global outlook and emphasizes the importance of understanding cultural differences and how they impact marketing. Through this lens, she works with her team to develop clever and creative campaigns that truly connect with people, as thatís what Four Seasons is known for. With more than 15 years of experience in brand marketing, Ms.Gaulin has lots to say on the topic of brand power and feels blessed that has only worked for brands that she truly loves. In her former role as Director of Marketing and then Vice President of Public Relations and Corporate Giving with Indigo Books & Music Inc, Ms.Gaulin oversaw all aspects of the retailerís external communication as well as author and celebrity events including Bill Clinton, Sting and Jamie Oliver, and three memorable Harry Potter launches. Prior to this, she led Marketing, Public Relations and Social Campaigning for The Body Shop Canada, which took her on a road trip across Canada speaking about violence against women and body image issues. Not surprisingly, Ms.Gaulin takes great pleasure in a good e-book, loves food and has tried many weird delicacies through her travels, and enjoys photography and fishing. As a native of Quebec, she is fluent in French and English; she will also speak Italian when forced to in Italy; and can manage to order a meal in Czech (as long as itís beer and fried cheese). When asked to speak about this, Ms.Gaulin politely declined to comment.

Ms. Gaulin can be contacted at 416-441-4440 or sorya.gaulin@fourseasons.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.