Here's something for you to ponder: What can offset the term "pink slime"? Anything? We haven't dealt with the lean beef story because, frankly, it seemed hopeless. Once the media, old and new, saddles you with "pink slime," it's over, we felt. Maybe so, maybe not. But it's certainly late in the day for Beef Products Inc. to rebound, as it's being urged to attempt. Bozell, an Omaha advertising and PR firm, thinks BPI "should be using national campaigns with well-known chefs or nutritionists speaking in layman's terms that all consumers would understand." Maybe, but at this point, we doubt it. A lengthy Omaha World-Herald story on BPI's late-inning options amounts to a tutorial on crisis communication.
One thing we're certain of, though, is that family-owned BPI yielded its market without any PR forethought. The company apparently had no crisis communication plan or even awareness of what might occur should its lean beef hit the fan. Even though they're apparently a responsible company pushing food safety innovations, BPI didn't get it. "'We're not much about (public relations) at BPI,' said Regina Roth, who runs the company with her husband and their children, Jennifer Latch and Nick Roth." Shame, and good luck. What else can you say?
* * *
Here's another view of the same unpromising subject from Advertising Age.
Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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