Indeed, four days later, VegNews released another apology , much shorter than the original, stating that they have completely changed their policy and will never feature photographs of meat as vegan meat ever again. Better late than never, but a second apology doesn’t erase what they so adamantly stated in the first.
According to Brad Philips, on the blog “Mr. Media Training,” media contact for VegNews, Colleen Holland, has a lot to learn about crisis communications.
“Colleen returned my call this afternoon, and we spoke for 15 minutes,” he said. “She said they were in such emotional shock when this story hit, that it took a couple of days to lose any hint of defensiveness and align their response with their readers. She said that they had never had crisis communications training and didn’t reach out to an external crisis pro, which likely prolonged the crisis.”
Maybe it’s time to not only invest in a chef (or someone!) to make vegan food for photos, but also a public relations professional who knows what the heck they are doing.