How to Stay Socially Revelant in a Crisis

Chobani is in the middle of a crisis. But the PR team is doing an excellent job of managing the fallout from some bad yogurt that went to market. According to reports from ABC News and other sources, “Chobani says it’s recalling some of its Greek yogurt cups that were affected by mold, a move prompted by reports of illnesses by some customers. The recall comes about a week after the company first started asking retailers to pull the products from shelves, saying some cups were “swelling and bloating.”

chobani yogurt

So how is Chobani getting in front of this problem?

It’s using the web effectively and responsibly. Here is Chobani’s landing page,  the CEO’s picture front and center with a note from the CEO. As Caysey Welton for PR News outlines several things the company did immediately:

  • The company responded swiftly.
  • Immediately took ownership of the issue.
  • Put the CEO front and center with this message. (See Walton’s report).
  • The CEO is not amplifying the issue.
  • Chobani is also offering affected customer a refund.

I addition to the company launching a landing page for people visiting the company’s website, the company  published a pensive  Ulukaya. And, the first statement of his note continues the message of ownership. He simply says, “I’m sorry we let you down.”

You can view the landing page here.

The company goes a step fruther too. Given how the FDA is poking it’s nose into the matter — to inspect processes, no doubt — the company has provided a link to the federal agency’s information on that matter, which you can also find here. This is the company’s official recall.

I don’t doubt Chobani will survive this, and come out on top. The PR team is executing on the crisis with textbook precision.

We can learn from their example; here are tips you should keep in mind:

  • Respond swiftly.
  • Be honest. Be transparent.
  • Take ownership of the issue.
  • Put the CEO out in front, and apologize.
  • Don’t amplify the issue.
  • Take care of those affected by the issue.
  • Use the web to spread your message.
  • Make sure media professionals get their story and facts straight.

Crises are unavoidable. It’s never a matter of “if” with a crisis, but “when” a crisis will happen. It’s good to be prepared. Clearly Chobani was prepred for this. But not all crisis are created equal. Some brew over time, so it’s important to understand how these issues rise and fall in the market place.

I have written a series of short article on this for THINKing, but have consodiated them here.

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Rodger Johnson

Public Relations | Social Media | Inbound Marketing Professional. Working for organizations with global footprints | Into craft beer, good books, bikes, travel.