Blog & Company News

Oct 27, 2011

Dirty PlayPlaces Make Mom Grimace—And She Gets Banned

[caption id="attachment_393" align="alignright" width="424" caption="Dirty PlayPlaces"][/caption] An Arizona woman who videotaped dirty conditions at PlayPlaces in East Valley McDonald’s restaurants has been banned from a franchisee’s locations, reported.1 A spokesperson for McDonald’s USA said in a statement that the chain “takes feedback about our restaurants extremely seriously” and “we remain committed to working with an internal team on ensuring that our PlayPlaces are clean and safe for all customers,” according to the article. But the mom’s actions became “disruptive,” thus the franchisee’s ban. Really, McDonald’s? We have some ideas about handling public relations in a crisis. Here’s what we recommended2 in a recent post: “Know when and how to say sorry. Even the most valid of excuses for any accident or mishap is generally not well-received by the public. If your company is at fault, just admit it and say you’re sorry. You might find it helpful to read Richard S. Levick’s article on ‘The Art of the Mea Culpa.’3 “Consult with your attorney about any liability issues and as soon as possible apologize, do everything you can to set things right, and move on. Whether you have to refund customers’ money, recall a product, or make a public statement, it’s far better to ask for forgiveness than give the impression that you either don’t care about the issue or don’t want to admit when you’re wrong. Be generous with your customers and the public, and they’ll be generous in return.” How about you? Have you experienced a public-relations crisis? How did you handle it? Let us know in the comments below. For more information, visit: 1. “Exposé Gets Valley Mom Banned From McDonald’s” 2. “Public Relations in a Crisis: What You Need to Know” 3. "The Art of the Mea Culpa"