In 2018, KFC ran out of chicken in the UK. Chicken is their main ingredient – it’s literally in the name Kentucky Fried Chicken. They had to shut down about 800 restaurants across the UK for several days while they resolved the problem. But because KFC has a strong brand presence in the UK (and likely because they consulted their PR agency), they were able to overcome brand crisis and grow afterwards.
KFC issued an apology in the form of a full-page print ad in British newspapers. The image had a red KFC chicken bucket with the typical ‘KFC’ letters rearranged to ‘FCK’. The caption read, “A chicken restaurant without any chicken. It’s not ideal. Huge apologies to our customers, especially those who traveled out of their way to find we were closed.” It was well-received by customers and after a few days, their restaurants were open and filled with customers again.
How you can overcome a crisis
Crises happen to every organization whether you are prepared for them or not. The key to overcoming a crisis is to invest in visibility and transparency, take responsibility and focus on your key publics. A PR agency can help you through these steps to whether a crisis and grow when it’s over.
Invest in visibility and transparency
In the KFC example, they didn’t avoid responding or try to hide their mistake. They were very transparent about what was going on by publishing their mistake in British newspapers. You cannot hide during a crisis—you have to be visible.
If you do share your side of the story, you can better control the conversation. Imagine if KFC had not been transparent. They likely would have lost many upset customers. But, being transparent in a crisis can be difficult to do, which is why a PR agency can help you know what to say when it comes to brand crisis and grow afterwards.
The crazy thing was, KFC was not even the one responsible for their chicken shortage. It was caused because they switched to a new chicken delivery partner who was unable to complete KFC’s chicken orders because of operational issues.
But even though KFC wasn’t technically at fault, they didn’t try to put off the blame on their delivery partner. They took responsibility. If you face a crisis, a PR agency will help you craft a response that takes responsibility gracefully to avoid brand crisis and grow afterwards.
Speak to your audience
In a crisis, you need to respond in a way that will be well-received by your key audiences. Since KFC has a humorous brand with sometimes crude humor, they could get away with a response like printing “FCK” in newspapers.
However, your brand may have a different tone and your audiences may react differently. For instance, if you own a law firm and face a crisis you will need a much more formal response. A PR agency can help you craft a response that suits your audience’s needs.
Don’t wait for a crisis to prepare
A PR agency can help you know what to say, how to say it, and when, to overcome a crisis. But, waiting until a crisis comes to hire a PR agency will be too late. You should work with a PR agency now to prepare for and overcome any crisis that will eventually come your way.
PLEASE LET US KNOW HOW WE CAN HELP! https://jenniferdelano.com/contact/