Fast Food Decision Makes for Some Fresh PR

The fast food wars continue to rage, and despite all the salads that have been introduced, nothing comes close to what Chick-Fil-A just announced. The “Eat Mor Chikin” company has recently announced that it will cut out corn syrup, dyes, and certain other additives, sometime in 2014.

While this won’t make the waffle fries any healthier, this is a breath of fresh air in the fast food media relations wars. And it may set a trend. No news on that yet, but Chick-Fil-A is getting a massive PR bump after making the announcement.

But, aside from the obvious, what is the specific PR protocol that the chicken company followed that Ronn Torossian says is worth a second look?

They broke the mold…

Fast food has always been about getting it out, quickly. Nobody ever called it healthy. But for years, the industry has been getting hammered for additives, and other reportedly unhealthy ingredients. Now Chick-Fil-A is raising the bar.

They did it first…

You can’t ever be better than first. Sure, someone may come along and do it as well, but they will always be compared to the pioneer. That pioneer status is good for almost permanent PR bonus points.

They took the initiative…

Sure, there were documentaries, and all sorts of articles demanding change. But, you know who wasn’t asking for change? Fast food customers. But Chick-Fil-A did the right thing anyway. They wanted to stand out, so they took some initiative. Some people still might not care, but it’s a good bet that the general public will be looking for opportunities to eat more chicken.

They communicated clearly and invited feedback…

The restaurant chain didn’t release some bland, and nonspecific PR about making healthier decisions. They listed several specific things they would no longer be using. These are easy to check, and you can bet the competition will be checking.

Taken together, Torossian says one thing is abundantly clear. Chick-Fil-A is no chicken. They have broken new ground, and we all just might be better for it.

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