Honey We’ve Got Rats! How Not To Recover From a PR Disaster


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How should you respond when a public relations disaster looms large. Yum Brands, the owners of a TacoBell/KFC restaurant in New York is finding out.

A live video report on WNBC showed a family of rats scurrying around the floor of a New York restaurant (which has had problems with rats before). The story (and the live video) have already been picked up across the spectrum of old media and new media. Yum Brands response? A very short standard news release hidden in the press releases section on their heavily-branded website. The news release suggests that it is they who have closed the restaurant rather than the New York Public Health Department, who the news report credit with enforcing closure whilst the restaurant remains a public health hazard.

Rats are an acknowledged problem in the restaurant indutsry. So why doesn’t Yum Brands have a better thought through approach to handling these type of incidents when they occur? Don’t they know anything about the power of the Internet to spread news, particularly bad news? Or do they consider such incidents to be just part of the cut & thrust of being in the fast-food business, to be ignored as it will quickly go away?

Something is not quite right somewhere.

What do you think? Has Yum Brands been caught sleeping at the PR wheel? Or is this an unimportant, isolated incident?

Post a comment and get the conversation going.

Graham Hill

Graham Hill (Dr G)
Business Troubleshooter | Questioning | Thoughtful | Industrious | Opinions my own | Connect with me on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/grahamhill/


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