Power and Presence- the good, the bad, and the ugly in public presence

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Would you like Vermin with that MexiMelt?

I can only laugh at this because I'm not the PR person handling the crisis. Evidently, some everyday folks captured some rats having a gay ol' time scurrying around a Taco Bell in Greenwich Village, NYC. http://www.brightcove.com/title.jsp?title=533258434

What fascinates me about this is Yum Brands' (the parent company to Taco Bell) response. This AdAge article articulates how this type of "caught ya red handed" type of exposure is only getting more dangerous for brands in the post YouTube universe. It also talks about Yum's lack of proactive crisis management of the issue... I guess Yum tried to play it off as a local, isolated incident. http://adage.com/article?article_id=115184

What's missing in Yum's reaction is not only a more proactive response, but an empathetic response. This is a Bush administration-esque response to a crisis - be defensive, be vague, and as a result, be completely not believable.

What they should have done was issued an apology, done something to actually THANK the people who exposed this problem, and for bringing it to their attention. They should have done a better job of empathizing with these people - in a sincere way. I mean, these people have to share a neighborhood with a place that's overrun with rats!

Then, they should have laid out a plan to understand how this could have happened, and how to make sure it's not happening anywhere else. I'm thinking a corporate blog would be most helpful in times like this... especially since their press release/response was buried in their site, unreachable by the long tendrils of Google.

If you have a moment, check it out. It's foul.

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