Archives Andy Beal

A Reputation Tail of KFC’s “Deep Fried Rat”

Imagine taking a bite into a delicious piece of fried chicken, only to discover what appears to be a deep fried…rat!

That’s the claim being made by Devorise Dixon on Facebook:


Taking a closer look at the picture, you see what appears to be white chicken meat below the breadcrumbs, but still, social media is like the Honey Badger…it don’t care!

KFC immediately issued their own statement:

“This happened in the US and, following an immediate investigation, no evidence was found to support this claim.

“Food safety is our highest priority worldwide and we take allegations of this nature extremely seriously.”

The only problem with that statement is that it’s too passive. No evidence was found to support his claim? If KFC does take this allegation extremely seriously, then it should immediately try to get its hands on this suspicious meat and cut the thing open!

In an age where even the smartest folks can be so easily fooled, a statement from KFC is no longer enough to protect it from reputation damage. We live in a time where you have to be proactive in stemming the flow of social media misinformation!

UPDATE: KFC is finally coming out swinging:

Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 5.18.09 PM

Duke takes another reputation hit after Professor posts racially-charged comments

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 10.10.27 AMA Duke University professor is in a lot of trouble with both his employer and his students, after leaving a racially-charged comment on a New York Times editorial.

The comment included use of “the blacks” and “the asians” which has caused another black eye for a university which only recently had to handle the outrage of a noose left hanging on campus.

While Professor Jerry Hough likely thought he had a right to share his personal comments on a news story, he didn’t take into consideration what just about everyone else with an internet device and an opinion has learned over the past few years:

“He represents the whole school in that one comment and that’s not a good image for the school,” said Duke student Virginue Marchand. “It’s really inappropriate.”

“You kind of want to be cautious, to make sure you don’t offend anyone,” said Duke student Xavi Ramos.

Both sound pieces of advice. Whenever you leave a comment online–whether on a post, in a tweet, or even an Instagram photo–you need to be careful no to offend anyone lest your actions soil the name of your employer.

Did Lenovo choose profit over reputation?

superfish-lenovoBy now, you’ve likely heard about the Superfish software that Lenovo decided to install on all consumer laptops late last year. The adware acts in a way that many say is both malicious and lacks security:

The adware works…by monitoring your web traffic while you’re shopping and then shows you similar products to the images that pop up in your browser. To do this while you’re securely connected to a website with an address beginning with https…Superfish intercepts traffic from the site and makes it searchable by tinkering with the Windows operating system and granting itself the ability to masquerade as any web site on the internet.

In other words, the kind of software you install anti-virus in order to prevent it from ever infecting your computer. So why did Lenovo install such junk on its computers?

While the official statement might try to convince us that Lenovo believed it would enhance the user experience, likely it all came down to money. Software companies such as Superfish generally pay computer manufacturers to install their software as default on new systems. Apparently, Lenovo wasn’t content to just make money off the sale of the hardware.

Unfortunately for the Chinese-owned company, the decision is now coming back to haunt it and executives are on major damage control–and already working on a solution to remove the software, having already halted it from being installed on new computers.

You would think that a company that already has to deal with conspiracy theories which suggest a Chinese computer manufacturer can’t be trusted, and is likely spying on us, would know better. While hindsight is 20/20, Lenovo has at least identified that this bone-headed decision has left a huge question mark over its reputation.

Lenovo’s chief technology officer, Peter Hortensius, acknowledged that “our reputation is everything and our products are ultimately how we have our reputation.”

The lesson here? Don’t make a decision that will make a quick buck at the expense of your long-term reputation.


A great idea to increase online reviews…

…ask for them!

It really is that simple. In Repped I explain the importance of funneling your customers to the review site that will benefit you the most. That’s exactly what The Saguaro Hotel in Scottsdale does, with this card prominently displayed on the front desk:

The Saguaro Review Card

You’ll notice a handful of brilliant elements to this card:

  1. The sentiment is all positive: love, joy, and thanks.
  2. They invite you to share your review online–they don’t try to qualify that by only asking for positive reviews.
  3. They guide you to the review sites that benefit them the most.
  4. Lastly, they offer you a 15% discount off your next stay (which you appear to get whether you write a review or not).

Is it working? I’d say so!

The Saguaro Google Reviews
The Saguaro TripAdvisor