Hilton's 'Modern Manners' Expert Advocates Equality
PHOTO: Steven Petrow, Hilton's new "Modern Manners" expert. (Courtesy of Hilton Worldwide)
Hilton Worldwide is reminding travelers to “mind their manners.”
In May, the global hospitality company partnered with award-winning journalist, author and LGBT expert Steven Petrow to advocate “modern manners.”
Petrow was brought on to serve as an advisor and advocate for the company on inclusive marketing and outreach efforts. In May, he conducted a Twitter chat on same-sex weddings. He also recapped the 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York City (which Hilton hosted) and Washington D.C.’s Capital Pride Festival on Hilton.com/GoOut.
Andrew Flack, vice president of global marketing for Hilton Worldwide, told TravelPulse that Petrow was a natural choice to extend Hilton’s inclusive outreach efforts.
“Although we have made great strides as a company in our efforts to make all guests feel welcome, we know that diversity of thought and experience are important for any organization, and we always look for new ways for us to further connect with our guests,” Flack said.
“Steven has been writing about etiquette for the last 20 years for outlets such as The Washington Post and USA Today; he has been helping Americans deal with new situations, where they don’t necessarily have experience navigating the waters,” Flack added. “We are so excited that Steven is joining us on this journey and helping us be even more hospitable.”
Moving forward, Petrow will continue to write on Hilton.com/GoOut. Flack said that Hilton will also work with Petrow throughout the year on initiatives “that could range from company-wide and on-property Diversity & Inclusion trainings to revamping marketing language and images.”
The LGBT community has become a focal point for the travel industry lately, not only in terms of equality, but also in terms of dollars and cents. As Flack noted, a white paper conducted by LGBT-focused MWW PR revealed that the American LGBT community of 16 million represents more than $830 billion in spending power.
Hilton has had a long history of promoting equality across different groups. The company has worked with, and formed strategic partnerships with, some of the LGBT community’s most influential organizations (including GLAAD, IGLTA, GLSEN, NCLCC and the National LGBTQ Task Force), as well as being involved in numerous LGBT business coalitions, advocacy efforts and events.
In 2012, the company launched its LGBT-friendly “Stay Hilton. Go Out.” campaign. In June 2014, the Beverly Hilton hosted the wedding celebration for co-plaintiffs Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo of California’s Prop 8 Supreme Court case. In 2014 and 2015, Hilton scored a perfect 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. Most recently, the company communicated to Arizona, Indiana and Texas government officials its opposition to anti-LGBT legislation pending in those states. In addition, Hilton is one of 379 companies in the world that recently supported marriage equality before the U.S. Supreme Court, according to a friend-of-the-court brief.
“A range of challenges exist for any global brand and our focus is on shaping experiences in which guests feel cared for, valued and respected,” Flack said. “This is a challenge we are tackling with support from the LGBT community.
“Since our founding more than 95 years ago, our hotels have always strived to be a gathering place for all people, regardless of beliefs, race, color, national origin, religious or sexual orientation.”
For more information on Petrow and Hilton’s advocacy and outreach efforts, visit Hilton.com/GoOut.
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