A Lesson in Crisis Communications
Online pictures of vegan ribs.
One vegan blogger writes, “First, some Barbequed Seitan Rib z from Fatfree Vegan. As soon as I saw this recipe, I knew we had to try it- and am I glad that we did! Words can not express how fabulous these are- please make some right now!”
These vegan ribs to the right are just one example of vegan pictures available online. Photo by: Bazu. Mouth watering pictures of vegan ribs, and other imitation meat can be found by simply searching under googleimages. It’s as easy as ensuring that the images are properly cited, and checking Creative Commons to find out if the photo is legally usable.
Did the letter work?
As a public relations major, I have seen the anxiety an organization experiences when they undergo a crisis. When the public perceives something the company has done as negative, a full out crisis communications plan goes into effect.
Some plans are tasteful. VegNews’ plan was not. Their reaction letter leaves something to be desired.
Vegan Nutritionista offers a second draft of the letter VegNews initially released. In their recommendation letter, instead of focusing on VegNews, they spend more time addressing the audience and changing their policy.
“Over the years, our vegan world has been graced with countless vegan bloggers, website owners, and cookbook writers who produce beautiful pictures of vegan recipes, and on occasion we have commissioned a few of them to produce recipes and photos for the magazine. However, over those years, we never stopped to reconsider our old stock photo policy,” Vegan Nutritionista recommended.
They continue, “Your overwhelming concern has helped us to realize this was wrong, and has given us reason to reconsider our policies. Going forward, we will be seriously considering your suggestions as to alternatives to non-vegan stock photography.”
Sometimes apologizing profusely is not the right way to go. In this case, a dose of humility would truly have helped readers forgive VegNews.
See their final apology in the next segment.