Crisis Management

A company must always have in the back of its mind a crisis management plan. It is never certain what can happen, but there must be a plan in place for when something does go wrong. In the article, Crisis Communication: A Case Study Perspective, the author Michael McGraw breaks down how a company can survive after a crisis.

The article thoroughly lays out exactly what a crisis can mean for a company and what to do to make sure there is a company left when all is said and done. One of the first steps is to prevent a crisis from happening. This is very rare, but possible. In 1992, McDonald’s experienced an incident over a hot coffee spill. An 81 year-old woman suffered third degree burns after spilling coffee on herself. McDonald’s could have avoided this incident if they had acted on previous complaints about their coffee. Over 700 people complained to the company of suffering burns due to the  coffee being too hot. In the end, McDonald’s survived the crisis and sustains a very healthy company reputation, but still had to pay the woman $640,000.

The most important parts of the article discuss about the ways a company can respond to a crisis. The author lays out a few strategies but the best plan is always to tell the truth and admit what happened was wrong. Rather than dwell on the mistakes the company, focus on moving forward and gaining the trust back from your consumers.

Another example of crisis management can be seen with McDonald’s again. A more detailed account can be found in the article, Weathering the SuperSize Me Storm. In 2004, SuperSize Me was produced by Morgan Spurlock. For 30 days the independent filmmaker ate only items on McDonald’s menu. After the 30 days, Spurlock’s health was obviously damaged. The movie was extremely popular and gained a lot of attention. McDonald’s reacted to this situation. The “SuperSize” size was discontinued. The company began to shift its attention towards a somewhat healthier menu. Though the restaurant chain is still not somewhere you’d eat to lose weight, it says a lot for the company that they made an effort to change their habits based on its critical attention.

Crisis averted.

By: Adam Okimatsu


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