Mama duck brings eggs, annual PR bonanza, to Georgetown Ritz-Carlton
For the past six years, a mama mallard has made the Ritz-Carlton in Georgetown her nesting spot -- much to the relief of the hotel's energetic publicist, Colleen Evans. "Are you kidding?" she said. "I would die if she didn't come back. It's the cute factor. And you know what? Anytime you take care of nature, it's good karma for the hotel."
"Ritzy" arrived around Easter to lay 10 eggs in one of the courtyard planters, right on cue for Evans's duck-centric PR juggernaut: A signature cocktail ("Duck, Duck, Goose"), velvet ropes around the planter, a "Shhh. Mother duck nesting" sign. Duck is conspicuously off the menu.
Cute duckling stories have a way of ending badly, but Evans has successfully crisis-managed this one over the years. Security cameras and guards watch out for hawks and other perils. And when the ducklings hatch, a "duck whisperer" (really) holds the mama while the babies are placed into a box, and they are all transported via limo to the banks of the Potomac. VID treatment, she calls it: Very Important Duck.
"That's why this duck is a smart duck," Evans told us.
The Reliable Source
April 19, 2010; 1:01 AM ET
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