Crisis Communication: PR & Marketing Firm and Dinner Cruise

Wow, has it already been 4 weeks? Approaching this last week of the trip is very bitter sweet. I am so thankful for this experience and all the friends I have made on this trip. This week we went on a dinner cruise on the Thames river, and then went to a PR ad marketing firm the next day. This dinner cruise was one of the best nights I had on this trip. Everyone was dressed up formally and we all felt very “high class”. There was an awesome singer who entertained us while we all danced on the dance floor at the front of the boat. The best part was towards the end when we went under tower bridge. It was one of the most amazing things I had ever seen. It was an extremely fun night that I will never forget.

The next morning we went on our last field trip to the PR and Marketing firm. I was not sure what to expect because I had never done anything like this before. When we arrived the workers were all very friendly and welcoming. We sat in a conference room and the employees gave presentations about their jobs and tools that they use when doing PR and marketing. It was very interesting to see how things I am learning about in school were applied in real life. A guy who handles most of the writing for the companies clients had us take a writing test that they give to the majority of the employees at an interview. It was cool to experience that, and it might have even prepared us for when we have to go to job interviews. I like that we ended with this field trip because it was very educational and really pertained to what we had been learning all summer in this class.

Crisis Communication: Jack the Ripper Walk, Branding and Advertising Museum, Churchill War Rooms

I cannot believe this is already our third week here, this trip is flying by! This week for field trip we went on a Jack the Ripper Walk, the Branding and Advertising Museum, and Churchill War Rooms. The Jack the Ripper Walk was on Tuesday night and the whole program attended it. We broke up into groups of about 25 and began our tour. Our tour guide took us through the town showing us where the murders occurred and how they occurred. I found it crazy how they still have no idea who they guy was because they did not have the forensic tools we do today. Our guide was very educated and easy to listen to.

On Wednesday we went on two field trips, Branding and Advertising Museum and Churchill War Rooms. I was pleasantly surprised with the Branding and Advertising Museum. As you walked through it took you through generations of popular food, toys, candy, book, clothes, and just about anything you could find at any store. It was cool to see how labels and fashion changes over the years. It was interesting to walk through and then come upon my time, and see toys and things that I remembered from my childhood. After this, we went and had a delicious lunch at a pub.

We then moved along to Churchill War Rooms. I had known who Churchill was and what he had done for Great Britain, but had no idea the extent of it. It was so interesting seeing the secret rooms that they ran the war from, and realizing that the rooms we were in at one time were top secret. It was also cool seeing the actual maps and tools they used to plan the war. So much effort was put into it by so many people which was very cool to learn about. Aside of Churchill, I enjoyed learning about the history of the war and allies. The thing that surprised me the most was how Churchill was a painter. I would have never thought a man who is famous and respected for the war would double as a painter.

Crisis Communication: Wellcome Tea, Mamma Mia Show

I cannot believe we only have a few more weeks left in London. It is really flying by, but I am very happy with everything I’ve seen and done. This week for our field trips we went and had afternoon tea at Wellcome, then dinner at EAT Italian, and then saw Mamma Mia at the theater. It was a very fun night full of delicious food.

The Wellcome place where we had tea was also a science and body museum. We got there and all sat down at a long table. We got two scones and a tea of chose with jam and cream. I love that we got to take part in an afternoon tea because I feel like it is a very local and cultural thing to do. I was surprised by their version of scones and cream. The scones were pretty much biscuits and the cream was sweet butter, but it was all very delicious. After we had our tea, we explored the museum for a little bit. It was very interesting and different then any museum I had ever been to. One of the rooms contained everyday things like water bottles and cat hair. It was very odd, but still interesting to walk around and look at.

We then moved onto dinner and Mamma Mia. We ate dinner at an Italian place called EAT Italian, which is very close to our dorms. We all got delicious pasta and salads. I had eaten there once before so I decided to get something different, and was still impressed. We then moved onto the best part of the night, Mamma Mia. We arrived just in time to use the loo and grab something from the concessions. I have always been a huge fan of musicals, especially Mamma Mia, so I had been looking forward to this for a long time. I have also seen it on Broadway once before. The show was amazing and I was singing and dancing the whole time. Being a dancer, I found the choreography really amazing. At the end of the show, they did what felt like a mini concert. They all came out and performed a few more songs. Everyone was standing up dancing and singing a long. It was a very fun night and a performance I will never forget.

Crisis Communication: Hampton Court Palace, Bank of England Museum, and Imperial War Museum

Our first field trips of the program were to Hampton Court Palace, the Bank of England Museum, and the Imperial War Museum. The first trip was to Hampton Court Palace on Sunday morning. When we arrived I was in complete shock of how big the palace was. I spent about five hours touring the palace and still did not cover it all. I enjoyed this tour a lot because we had a phone/speaker and could type in a code for every room. The device told us everything about the room and things that happened there. I had known about King Charles killing a few of his wives, but I did not know the details. It was really interesting to learn about. It is bind blowing to me that things like that occurred within royalty. I find it fascinating that royalty is still a thing today and I am excited to learn more about it while I am in London.

Our next field trip day was to Bank of England Museum and Imperial War Museum. We started early morning and tubed to the Bank of England first. The area we were in reminded me a lot of the wall street area in New York City. It was full of large and classy looking buildings. I enjoyed learning where their money came from. It is very different from American money so it was cool to learn how it evolved. There was also a brick of gold worth over 300,000 pounds that you could pick up. I tried to but was unsuccessful. We then moved onto the Imperial War Museum. The most interesting part on this museum was the Holocaust section. We spent a lot of time up there. It was sad but interesting.

PRCA 4332S – United Airlines Crisis

Social media went wild after a video was released of a United Airline passenger, David Dao, getting forcefully removed from an airplane by security officers.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/10/travel/passenger-removed-united-flight-trnd/index.html

This video was seriously damaging to United Airlines reputation and created a large crisis for the company after being released in early April. There was even talk of boycotting the company. Due to the flight being overbooked, the passenger was asked to give up his seat after he was already seated. Dao refused, which lead to his forceful removing and serious injuries (Zdanowicz ). This crises raises not only one, but two serious issues United Airlines has to deal with. The first, and obvious, one is making right what happened directly to David Dao. The other issue the company needs to address is the over booking of flights, which was essentially the cause of this crisis.

It is quite obvious that there are many ways this crisis could have been avoided. For starters I think United Airlines should have stopped over booking flights a long time ago. Asking customers to give up seats on their flight does nothing but anger them and hurt the companies reputation. If this issue was addressed by United’s crisis team earlier, this situation with David Dao might have been avoided completely. Although it is unfortunate something like this to happen first, United Airline has changed its overbooking policy. Passengers who are already seated can not be taken off the flight (Czarnecki).

United Airlines changing their overbooking policy was a step in the right direction. However, it is still going to take more from the company to heal from this crisis. After this violent event occurred, CEO Oscar Munzo released two public forms of apologies on Twitter and Good Morning America (Czarnecki). Although I think the public appreciated seeing this, I do not think it is enough. The airline is still being boycotted, and because of this I believe something bigger needs to be done by the company. I have not heard much in the news about things United is doing to recover from this. I think the organization and PR practitioners need to formulate a way to re-brand the company and hopefully gain the public’s trust again.

 

Czarnecki, S. (2017, June 7). Timeline of a crisis: United Airlines. Retrieved June 13, 2017, from http://www.prweek.com/article/1435619/timeline-crisis-united-airlines

Zdanowicz, C., & Grinberg, E. (2017, April 11). Passenger dragged off overbooked United flight. Retrieved June 13, 2017, from http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/10/travel/passenger-removed-united-flight-trnd/index.html

 

 

 

A Chipotle Lovers Worst Nightmare – First blog for PRCA 2330 Summer

A true food lovers tragedy struck in November of 2015 when Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants were shut down for health concerns regarding E. coli. Isn’t Chipotle supposed to be the healthy fast food place? That’s what I thought too, but this put a big damper on the company’s PR.

The west coast was the main region that fell victim of this E. coli outbreak. Chipotle restaurants quickly responded to this a few days later by sanitizing their restaurants and replacing all their food items. Although it is good that they responded to this problem so quickly, I think they could have gone a little further in making sure this did not happen again. Replacing their food might not stop the problem if they are getting their food from the same place. Personally, I think it would have been more beneficial to change where their food came from and present that to the public.

Sure enough, Chipotle got hit with another E. coli outbreak shorty after the first one. The FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention opened two investigation on the restaurant. As if one wasn’t already enough. Being someone who eats Chipotle quite often, and knows a hand full of people who do as well, this is very frightening to me. These outbreaks came to a grand total of 55 people infected with E. coli. I think Chipotle’s response this time was a little more thought through then the last. The company stopped serving at the effected locations and held a nation wide food-safety training session.

Coming from a girl who grew up eating at Chipotle, I appreciate the company taking this seriously and re-training employees on food safety. However, my concern from the first outbreak still stands. Will this be enough to stop this E. coli mess for good? The FDA investigated in hopes to find what ingredient the E. coli was getting traced back to, however were unable to find it.  Come February of 2016, the CDC declared that the Chipolte E. coli outbreak was over. The company reported a list of safety perceptions they had to take before opening a restaurant for business in hopes to prevent this issue from happening again.

Although Chipotle did about all they could to recover their image from this issue, I still do not know if I will ever trust it the same. Will I ever eat it again? Sure, but not as often as I used to. I think this issue will be talked about for a very long time even though the outbreak is over, and will continue to hurt their reputation. I would have liked to see Chipotle start using different, and perhaps safer, ingredient vendors. I think this would have allowed customers to trust their food again, and given them the healthy reputation they had before.

http://www.prweek.com/article/1419873/timeline-crisis-when-chipotles-new-crisis-met-its-old-one

https://www.fda.gov/food/recallsoutbreaksemergencies/outbreaks/ucm470410.htm