KFC Nail Their PR Response

By Emma Moody, 22nd February 2018

Update: The poultry panic that was #KFCCrisis has subsided. Chicken is back on the menu and the fried paradise that is KFC is no longer operating on a wing and a prayer… without the wings. Thankfully the company that strikes fear in the hearts of  chickens and heart disease sufferers had one more PR coop. They released this update on the weekend. 

One can only hope they learned a lesson about depending on a single supplier, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Ok we are out of puns, we promise. 

It may have caught your attention that KFC aren’t having the best of weeks. However, their PR wizards are doing anything but winging their communications. This is plainly any marketers nightmare and big fry marketing teams work tirelessly when planning their campaigns to avoid this kind of disaster. And yet, KFC’s reaction?

KFC PR & Marketing

Cool cucumbers! KFC are striking just the right balance of humour and information in their communications. Worded just right, using active language and honesty, a pretty painful announcement actually makes you quite proud of the company. As a consumer, hearing that KFC are putting the quality of their product ahead of their loss of revenue is spot on. And which corporation remembers to thank their staff in a situation like this? A good one! Informative and ingenious.

So maybe KFC got lucky on this one. This situation hasn’t hit on any of the PR minefields. No scandal has unfurled, this isn’t a food hygiene case, nor have they been reported for animal cruelty. This is just a massive cock up! In that sense, the situation is more easily handled and they can embrace the publicity. However it is still no mean feat and takes a confident marketing team to reach for this kind of win.

By using a consistent and playful brand voice to address the serious questions that the public have about employee wages and the wastage of food (utilising a variety of chicken puns along the way), KFC have spun what is essentially a business blunder into a PR save. One quick Google of KFC brings up articles from 3 top websites, including the BBC and The Telegraph, which lets face it… isn’t doing their SEO any harm.

KFC News search results

Does anybody remember…

  • When United Airlines violently dragged a passenger from a plane and the story went viral.
  • When Adidas emailed the runners of the Boston Marathon 2017 congratulating them for surviving. A bit of a gaffe after the bombing at the 2013 event.
  • When Gerald Ratner knocked £500 million off the share value of his company by calling his products ‘crap’.
  • When Pepsi resolved civil unrest with their tasty beverage.
  • Volkswagen were found to be cheating on vehicle emissions tests.
  • The KKK Krispy Kreme Klub.