Student/PR

KFC Demonstrates why Crisis Management is so Important

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’d have heard of KFC and their chicken (or rather lack of) problem this week.

A chicken restaurant that runs out of chicken due to a supply issue doesn’t exactly sound like a recipe for success now, does it?

But what does a company do in this situation?

KFC has presented us with the perfect exemplar as to why it’s always so important to have a crisis management protocol in place to either reduce the risk of issues like this, or at least soften the blow.

What is a crisis management plan?

If you’re a business and you’re asking this question, you really out to be asking yourself why you’ve not heard of crisis management sooner than now.

Crisis management is crucial in organisations, and yes that includes small scale business and start ups (in fact, one could argue these are the exact types of companies that need them even more so).

It’s foolish to undertake the assumption that ‘it’ll never happen to you’ – I’d bet anything that KFC thought they’d never run out of chicken but here we are in that very predicament that is predicted to last until the end of the week at least.

Crisis management is effectively 2 things:

  • Planning for how your organisation will deal with a crisis
  • Reducing the likelihood of a crisis occurring

The wised-up businesses amongst us will have drawn up a crisis management plan allowing for every eventuality and ultimately, those are the the businesses that are set for not only survival – they are set to blossom.

Crisis management also means having a person or team in your organisation that is set to deal with the crisis – this can be your PR team or someone else. The crisis management team are on hand to deal with any issues as soon as possible and will prepare and deliver statements, press conferences, product recalls etc.

What does a crisis management plan include?

As aforementioned, a crisis plan will allow for every eventuality – and that means thinking outside of the box and considering the unlikely. To name a few:

  • Stock shortages
  • Scandals
  • Employee issues
  • Office/warehouse fires
  • Natural disasters
  • Product recalls
  • Injury/death as a result of a business service/product

Why does a business need crisis management?

You need not look any further than KFC to answer that question. The closure of hundreds of its stores over the week and in to the weekend is going to be huge for them in terms of revenue losses (not to mention some very angry staff).

Ultimately, if a proper crisis management plan was in place KFC may have had a back up supplier for emergencies or could have arranged quicker turnaround times.

I do have to give KFC some credit though, they’ve handed the situation well considering the predicament they’re in…

Through making humour of the issue, and keeping the press and public informed – they’ve really done all they can and now all we can do is welcome the reopening with open arms.

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