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McDonald’s Day of Bad Press
By: Cindy Wendland
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Recently my parents were some of the lucky ones who received their meal free during McDonald's “Paid for with lovin’” campaign. Our circle on Facebook thought it was fun and loving. Other circles have not had similar experiences and the campaign has had mixed reviews. Now McDonald’s is having a full day of bad press. How will they react?

Four titles on BBC news recently are "McDonald’s burns prompt US enquiry," "McDonald’s sued for racial bias," "McDonald’s to cut use of antibiotics in chicken," and "McDonald’s losing out to competitors." That’s a lot of bad press. Topics range from worker safety to diversity to food safety to market share. At least one of those topics will resonate with most readers. Sometimes bad press is easier to minimize when it touches only one segment of people. This press touches nearly everyone, so the impact and reaction need to be wider and stronger.

Some of the best advice when bad press hits is to respond quickly, honestly, and decisively. The company should own up if there was a mistake and then, most importantly, generate some positive press. Some ways to do this are through donations or promoting positive news stories. Ideally, a crisis management plan should be in place and actions can be drawn from the plan. 

To overcome bad press, you have to replace the bad image with good images. In relationships, it takes eight positives to outweigh one negative. In business, it takes at least three positives to outweigh one negative. Look for some positive press stories from McDonald’s soon. Or, if you really like McDonald’s, put some of your own positive stories out on social media and help them. They need it!

   

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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