Thursday, March 29, 2007

McDonald's: Ejaculate in granny's milkshake?

One of the weirder questions the McDonald’s Make Up Your Own Mind website asks itself – hoping to allay our fears over the food chain’s manna and its sources – is this one: “Why did your emplyees (sic) ejactulate (sic) into my grandmother’s milkshake?”

The lack of sub editing aside, I should report in the interests of balance that McDonald’s replies (to itself) that claims of this sort have been never found to be true (did they take a sample from granny’s tummy then in search of McSemen?) and if bodily fluids were found in the milkshake the discharger would be fired. Just fired? Not a police matter then, no possible assault issues?

Anyhow, all this corporate intercourse with the public reminds me of something I read in PR Week last week. McDonald’s UK PR chief Nick Hindle announced that in future the company would put its faith in the staff as the “brand voice” – and encourage staff blogging.

I wonder what he thinks these McBloggers will have to write about and who will read them. Who’s screwing whom over the Chicken McNuggets? Perhaps they will follow the example of McDonald’s Open For Discussion blog reflecting the “personal perspectives” of McDonald’s staffers Bob Langert, Vice President for Corporate Social Responsibility, and Catherine Adams, Corporate Vice President for Worldwide Quality, Food Safety and Nutrition. There are other contributors, too.

The few reader comments first alert one to the charisma-free zone of Bob and Cath. “CSR [Corporate Social Responsibility] is multi-dimensional,” writes Bob, “and we break it down into five key areas: balanced active lifestyles, responsible purchasing, people, environment, and community. We’ll be talking about all these areas. I’m very passionate about them all.” Already I want to self-immolate in the fat fryer. But let’s soldier on. “We [McDonald’s] are a continuous improvement company. We tinker with every little detail in our business to do better. It could be redesigning a package to keep the food 1 degree warmer or making service 1 second faster.”

Someone called Rich Floersch - Chief Human Resources Officer for McDonald's – blogs on January 31: “I consider it my responsibility to be in a constant state of learning and personal development that can help me identify and use new and better ways of leading and developing people. It's not only part of my job but a passion of mine as well.” Such is Rich’s passion he’s not blogged since. And no wonder. He probably fell into the coleslaw after writing this shit.

Free advice: the spunk-in-granny’s-milkshake approach is probably the way to go for blogosphere engagement.

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