Chick-fil-a [pronounced Chick-fill-ay in the South; Chick-fill-ugh in the North] generated some news lately. Did you hear?
From Boston to Chicago, from Bible Belt to Tighten Belt, CEO Dan Cathy’s comments to a biblically focused periodical raised some hackles. They came across, to some, as anti-gay, spurring a social media-based feeding frenzy and calls for a boycott. Restaurant Crisis 101.
I don’t know how long Charlotte Observer columnist Mark Washburn, right, intends to stay at his newspaper, but he ought to be in public relations and crisis management — at Chick-fil-a. He wrote what Chick-fil-a should have said several days ago.
Point out the facts: Cathy did not say anything anti-gay. Nor did he imply anything anti-gay.
Make clear that the company does not discriminate in hiring. [Does it pay benefits to same-gender married survivors?].
Demonstrate how the mayors of Boston and Chicago seemed to be reacting to relayed interpretations of what Cathy, right, said in the interview.
And, stand up for your company when it’s in a crisis.
The content of this blog is about crisis management and mismanagement in a digital age. It originates with Steve Bell, who spent 30 years as a journalist for the Associated Press and in four top editor positions at The Buffalo News. He is now Partner/Director of Public Affairs at Eric Mower + Associates, one of the nation’s largest independent advertising, integrated marketing and public relations agencies, with seven offices in the Northeast and Southeast. Learn more about EMA at www.mower.com. Steve’s blog is based on his own opinions and does not represent the views or positions of Eric Mower + Associates.