A fave ‘zine to get blog fodder is Advertising Age. The “Battered KFC Gives Itself Another Spin; Chain pushes ‘so good’ campaign, the fifth shift in ad direction in as many years” appears in May 24, 2010 issue.
While marketing and public relations blend nicely in the sandbox, public relations and advertising need to work a bit harder to effectuate sisterly love. Since KFC is obviously struggling and lamenting the success of rival Chick-fil-A (my all-time favorite chain along with Culvers), I wonder how the public relations team is reacting to these seismic internal shifts?
Got messaging, KFC?
Here are some of the negatively connoted words and my impressions from this article:
- KFC has “been very impatient,” according to KFC executive VP-marketing and food innovation. (Hmm, I would NOT have developed such a soundbite for a spokesperson).
- KFC is struggling at home, growing in Asia.
- Waffling from fried to grilled and back has fostered confusion for KFC consumers.
- KFC same-store sales fell 4 percent in U.S. in 2009.
- KFC new target audience is “socially connected people who are transgenerational.” (I’m glad the reporter, Emily Bryson York, helped define that as a teen on Facebook or her mother who reads blogs.)
On a toning scale of 1-5, I’d give this piece a one as lowest score. Too many negatives.
While public relations has an opportunity to help influence a buy decision, it cannot fix a story like this overnight. Hopefully, the public relations machine is reacting nimbly and pushing franchisee relations to help store owners grapple with a failing image among consumers locally.
Ever hit a mall where there’s a Chick-fil-A? The line is backed up 10 deep at lunchtime, except on Sundays when the other foodies have a chance to recoup lost revenue due to the ultra success of KFC’s rival.