Tuesday, August 7, 2012

PR On Every Level

Our last weekend trip was spent in Barcelona, and although the city was unbelievably beautiful, we hit a few snafus. The biggest came when one of the members in our group lost her tourist bus ticket while we were off the bus. When we "hopped on" again, we tried to explain to the situation to the ticket woman. Even though our “lost-ticket” friend showed the ticket woman her book of discounts and map that they hand to you, and we all showed her our tickets that we all bought together, she still would not let her ride without buying another ticket. She did show us the rulebook however, which explicitly states that without a ticket, you cannot ride. I guess that is fair enough. But what really bothered us was that the bus driver turned around and spoke to the ticket woman in Spanish. Little did he know a member of our group speaks fluent Spanish. He made comments like "Someone needs to tell them that if you lose your movie ticket they do not let you back in the movie" and after we opted to buy another ticket, he said, "oh look how calm they are now". It was really rude and offensive. Just because we're American doesn't mean we are ignorant. And if you're in the business where tourists are your main source of income, maybe you should hold back on your offensive comments and appreciate that we traveled so far to visit you're beautiful city. This goes to show that there is PR at every level, even with tourist relations.

After this experience, I wrote the bus company quite the scathing review on trip advisor. It might be one review out of millions, but it is still a warning to the public. Due to “Barcelona Bus Turistic’s” bad PR, they had some bad PR handed back to them. 


  1. I completely agree that PR occurs at every level. The most successful companies are the ones that integrate all the elements of good business, and keep the costumer happy at every level. From my experiences abroad this summer, I think I learned a valuable lesson about being American abroad. I never thought it was true before (except in France) but there really is a sense of anti-Americanism in a lot of these countries. I’m our “American” shows a lot more prominently when we complain though!

  2. I love that you are using Trip Advisor. Nothing helps me make decisions regarding buses, travel, shows, movies, etc. like a good old fashioned online review. PR is gravitating more and more toward catering and cultivating these online comments, rather than spinning and pitching stories from second hand accounts. Unfortunately, trip advisor can't remedy anti-Americanism in Barcelona. Still a great resource.