2008, Maple Leaf Food, a Canadian brand, had a listeriosis outbreak that killed 22 people. Maple Leaf Food immediately responded to this public and workplace crisis in a genuine and authentic way. Now, their brand is well known across North America because of how well they handled this public relations nightmare.
There are 7 lessons to be learned from how they handled their nation-wide crisis:
1. Use a prominent spokesperson: someone who has a high, respected position within the company
2. Issue a public apology that’s sincere and heartfelt
3. Be proactive about addressing the problem: don’t wait for the media to probe
4. Fix the problem: a monetary donation or a public apology is trivial without a real solution
5. Use appropriate messaging: “Going through the crisis there are two advisers I’ve paid no attention to. The first are the lawyers, and the second are the accountants. It’s not about money or legal liability, this is about our being accountable for providing consumers with safe food.” – Michael McCain, CEO
6. Be consistent: have one message to your audience and tell it well
7. Be Transparent: issue recalls on the website and make public announcements more frequently
To read on these seven points in more detail, click here.
Photo Credit: The Canadian Press/Ryan Remiorz
Professionals interested in understanding how to manage crises within their organization turn to CrisisSim.
Crisis Simulation teaches participants to:
- Develop a fundamental understanding of the causes of a crisis and how a crisis, by affecting the spending decisions of consumers affects firms’ sales, profit margins and market shares.
- Understand the subtle and sophisticated changes that consumers make with regarding their spending decisions in the context of an economic crisis.
- Develop an understanding of how the impact varies across countries, sectors, and crisis-type.
KNOLSKAPE’s award-winning simulations uses experiential learning and gamification to attract, grow and retain talent. Global Fortune 500 companies and Top-10 B-schools use KNOLSKAPE’s products and solutions for on-boarding, training, assessments, and talent engagement strategies.