A Final Word

There has been so much discussion this week about the KFC no chicken issue and the response that happened. Everyone has to agree that a chicken restaurant without chicken is a reputational and operational crisis. Shops closed, staff had no work and people couldn’t buy takeaway fried chicken.

Many will have seen the advert that was in the national newspapers which attempted to use some humour to lighten the situation.

So was it a crisis communication master stroke or was it just what you would expect from a business in crisis?

My non-negotiables with regard to crisis communication are:

1. Show you have recognised and are dealing with the situation

2. Be honest and accurate in what you say

3. Keep a flow of information

4. Remember the people

5. Get the right tone

In providing the swift response and giving regular updates the team behind KFC did cover points 1 and 3. They seemed to be focused on providing detailed updates about where was open, who was affected and what was being done, which meets point 2.

In point 4 they quickly talked about what was going to happen to those who could not work because of the problem. They also recognised that many loyal customers would be upset and frustrated at the closures.

Finally, the humour in the newspaper advert does appear to meet point 5. They are able to use a bit of humour as after all this is about fried chicken and no one has their lives at risk. In many cases this approach would not be acceptable because of the severity of the situation. This is why it is essential to understand the mood and get the tone right in response to an incident.

In short KFC met all the essential elements and it has shown an ability to step up quickly to deal with a crisis. The important question for all communicators following this is are you ready to step up and manage a crisis?

This entry was posted in communication, crisis communication, PR, work and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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