Much a to-do has been made of the goo:
McDonald’s Canada did both a brave and the right thing in releasing a video showing exactly how Chicken McNuggets are made. In short, they are using content to manage a PR crisis.
They did it in response to a picture going around the internet of pink goop rumored to be in Chicken McNuggets.
Risky but worth it:
Some will find the real process as shown in the McDonald’s video, let’s see — what finer point did Time Magazine put on it — oh yes, that’s right, “gross.”
But I bet a whole bunch of people were pleasantly surprised to see that chicken McNuggets actually started with chicken.
Using content to manage a PR crisis always gets a bit of push back, particularly internally. Some would argue McDonald’s should have left well enough alone. It is true that McDonald’s kept the story alive longer by releasing the video. Undoubtedly, some were blissfully living gooplessly when McDonald’s video brought the whole pink mess into their lives.
Times have changed:
But I think McDonald’s recognizes that something has fundamentally changed in the world and they’d better figure out how to change with it. Using content to manage a communications crisis is a part of a shift McDonalds seems to be testing in Canada.
Some really brave work:
Routinely, the company takes questions, often hard, sometimes unpleasant ones, and answers them. In detail.It sure beats the company’s old way of handling complaints and concerns.
And it shows how far a brand can come. It gives us hope on how much further it might go.All brands will have to start.According to Forrester’s, the public is putting less and less faith in what a brand says about itself.
Brands that remain true to the old “push” style will continue to see diminishing returns.
But don’t believe me:
As Edleman’s Trust Barometer points out, 68 percent do trust content (blogs, articles, select videos, etc.), especially when it involves experts, either outside of the company or employees.
That’s exactly what McDonald’s did:
They walked us through the suppliers plant and showed us step by step how they made the food.
Was it pretty?
But if it had been, we wouldn’t have trusted it.
It came off as honest because it was low-tech, straight forward and very much a “this is how we do it.”
We’re in the driver’s seat:
As consumers, we all demand more from the brands we give our hard earned money to.
It takes no time to lose the public’s trust. It takes a long time to build it up.
Even longer to build it back up once it’s been lost.
But as much the life of every PR and marketing practitioner would be made easier by going back to the mass marketing of the pre-internet era, it’s not going to happen.
And the only thing riskier than taking risks like McDonald’s has done is to not take them.