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Class Reflection (2/16/12)

May 3, 2012

Today in class, we had a guest speaker come in.  She is a part of the public relations staff for Food Lion, a grocery store chain.  She talked to us about crisis management, and gave us a few examples of situations she has been in as a part of the Food Lion team.  One of the examples she used was when an ex employee came in and sprayed a liquid on some of the meat.  They weren’t sure what the liquid was at first, so they had to do a recall on the meat, and explain what had happened to the customers.  This could have been a huge public relations hit to Food Lion, but I thought that they handled it effectively and quickly enough to save their reputation.  They offered free refunds to those who had purchased meat within a given time frame, and they made sure to get out in the media and explain the issue up front and honestly.

I think the way that this situation was handled could be a framework for other organizations to handled similar situations.  For example, the situation with Ohio State’s football team when some of their players were selling their game memorabilia for free tattoos.  The head coach ended up getting fired because he didn’t disclose the fact that he knew these things were going on.  Had Jim Tressell come right out and been honest and up front about the situation, I think he could have saved face, been reprimanded mildly, and could possibly still be coaching at Ohio State.

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