KFC – CLUCKING FANTASTIC CRISIS COMMS…
Posted By Jane Carroll
The chicken has finally come home to roost and KFC is starting to get back to normal, but will there be any long-term damage to the brand or customer satisfaction following the disaster of the last few weeks? Is ‘the sky falling’ down around the company or has it handled its crisis communications perfectly?
Here at Peppermint HQ, we’ve been watching the ‘fowl’ situation with fascination and think that it really has been an eggstravaganza of eggceptional crisis communications. Sorry, I’ll stop now – couldn’t help it.
From the very start as the first tweets were being heard, the brand’s PR and creative teams and agencies have clearly seen this as an opportunity. Every single piece of communication from the brand has been consistent and on brand with the perfect ‘hands up’ apologetic tone of voice. At no time have they blamed DHL or got into any debate over the old contract with Bidvest, when several associations have brought this argument right to the forefront.
They have followed the rules: tell it all, tell it now and tell it truthfully. But, what they’ve also managed to do is what very few companies achieve in these situations. KFC has delivered all messaging in a self-deprecating, honest manner. They engaged with other brands who are taking advantage of their unbelievably ironic situation and have seen the joke in all of it. They haven’t ‘compromised on quality’!
Now, I’m sure there’s no joke at KFC HQ – there will be serious repercussions and I reckon Bidvest is feeling the Karma right now. Crucially, though, undoubted stress and frustration doesn’t seem to have been visible in any of the responses they’ve given. The damage to the bottom line will have to be seen, yes. Overall, however, genuine logistical errors like this are usually forgiven by the loyal customer. What isn’t forgiven are mistakes that offend and revolt people across the world, dissolving any trust someone has with a brand (er, Oxfam, I’m looking at you here).
Kudos to KFC, and now give those social media guys a well-earned break. They’ve not slept for over a week!
Just because they’re funny, here are some of my favourite tweets that came out of the poultry palaver…