McDonald’s PR crisis


What we can learn from McDonald’s crisis PR


picture of China Daily : Mac Do’s Food is past of date  for consumption


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The first lesson: speed

As a reverse side case, McDonald’s was put on CCTV consumers’ rights protection party . Among all the companies exposed, it’s the first one gave the response. Less than one hour later, MCD made their response on their official weibo account. And its announcement appeared on weibo:

MCD pr post

(Translation: the violation operation exposed by CCTV in Sanlitun McDonald’shas arisen our official attention. We will investigate this separate event and handle it seriously, as an apology to customers. We will also dig deeper in this problem to guarantee our execution qualified for safe, hygiene food to customers. Welcome supervision from government, media and customers.)

Two hours later, this post has been shared by 8400 different accounts and total fans of these 8400 accounts are over 10 million. This means this post reaches 10 million people on weibo in only 2 hours.

The second lesson: content

Besides, the content of the post also plays an important part of this case. It works in four ways:

Limit the problem

It can be a nationwide problem which can hamstring the whole business of MCD in China.
While in this post, only MCD branch in Sanlitun was mentioned. Then, they define the problem as a violation operation which keeps the business mode of MCD away from danger.

Clear attitude

MCD uses strong words such as seriously, guarantee to send a message that MCD will take all the details involving food security as a big issue. The parlance they use is now one of the standard language to use in crisis PR.

Promise to make change

As they say We will also dig deeper in this problem to guarantee our execution qualified for safe, hygiene food to customers, emphasize again it is an execution mistake which can be avoided when execution’s been guaranteed.


At the end, MCD mentioned government, media and customers who are the major parties at interest. It sends a signal that they are cared by MCD.

As the result, MCD get rid of the influence faster than the others.

MCD negative news drop fasterIt can be witnessed by the results from google that number of MCD negative news drops faster than the Carrefour.


The teacher McDonald’s teaches us that PR crisis even as big as exposure on CCTV-1 is not the end of the brand.
Reacting fast; limiting the problem; taking due responsibility is the key to solve the problem.
It also shows that the huge influence of weibo. A good management of 1 weibo post can counteract greatly the huge influence from media, even like CCTV-1 while the difference of the cost can be huge.