Quite a bit has been written about McDonald’s Open for Discussion blog (it’s on the topic of corporate social responsibility) and the blog’s non-response to readers’ negative comments about miniature Hummers as Happy Meals giveaways.
Before I tell McDonald’s VP and corporate blog author Bob Langert to stuff it because he’s doing a really bad job of it, I’d like to offer him a little advice.
Bob, admit you weren’t listening
Bob, it’s not too late to pull yourself out of this hole. Hummer toys are cool collectibles and yes of course your colleagues’ children love them. But what they represent is antithetical to your desire to expound, through the CSR blog, on McDonald’s environmentally responsible initiatives.
You wrote in a somewhat garbled sentence: “I do not see this promotion as a reflection of our commitment to strategies that will conserve non-renewable resources and reduce the environmental footprint of our restaurant business–and our supply chain.” Huh?!
What I think you meant (if I can wade through that mouthful of corporate-speak) is that you see the promotion as a harmless marketing ploy that you had nothing to do with. Therefore it isn’t connected to your loftier mission of promoting McD’s CSR. Hmmm…
On one level you are correct. If my son were of Happy Meal age (alas, he’s all grown up) I know he’d go nuts for a mini Hummer. But I’m sure you can see (wince…) there’s a bit of a disconnect here.
Offer a cheerful apology with an “Oops”
An “oops” blog entry is in order. Ya gotta apologize. First for failing to promptly post readers’ comments about the Hummer giveaway. And secondly for not responding in a cogent way to what your readers are saying.
Their comments are
“Thanks Bob for posting all the comments, better late than never eh? I look forward to your responses and participation in the discussion. Questions for you: Would McDonalds allow Colt to give away a toy gun in Happy Meals? If not, why not?” – Al Tepper
Then move on and keep blogging
Bob, chalk this up to taking your lumps in the blogosphere. As long as you promise to listen more carefully to your smart readers in the future and to speak more credibly, you’ll do fine. Please, give us more authentic Bob-think. And a lot less corporate-speak.
Looking forward to your next post…
Would you like fries with your hummer? (Christopher Carfi)
McDonald’s blog not open for discussion (Jackie Huba)
McDonald’s VP McBlogs About the Hummer (Elana Centor)
Fortune senior writer Marc Gunther on McBlogging