Over the years we’ve done a lot of hospitality marketing consulting and the first thing we study is how “hospitable” our clients are as well as their staff and their operating practices.

And, if they’re not hospitable we fix the situation immediately. No advertising is recommended, no one passes “GO” and no one gets $200 – you get the picture.

So, you can imagine how floored I was when I read this story by Rob Shuter about the popular, successful and seemingly nice Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa!

‘Barefoot’ Backfire: Make-a-Wish Kid Turns Ina Down

Here’s Enzo,  a sweet 6-year-old kid with cancer whose wish is to simply meet and cook with ‘her majesty’ because he’s a  huge fan! She blows him off and it’s not until a public backlash that she agrees to meet him.

Here’s the kicker!

Now the family says it’s too late and kicks ‘Her Barefootness’ to the curb because of the snub.

Good for Enzo – he and his family have a ton of class.

Bad for Ina because she’ll feel this PR disaster with a drop in ratings and sales – guaranteed – she lost me big time!

PR lesson #1 – be nice – always – not just when it’s convenient for you!

P.S.: Here’s another report of the story and video on ABC News. And, another. And, you can be sure there is and will be hundreds more!