episode 39: the infamous ‘finger in the chili’ incident

Crisis Communication - Ohio CPA Firm
Denny Lynch, former senior vice president of communications for Wendy’s, joins Mark Van Benschoten on unsuitable on Rea Radio to discuss crisis communication.

Remember the time America began checking their Wendy’s chili for rogue fingers? Denny Lynch does. As the senior vice president of communications at the time of the crisis, Denny and his team was not only responsible for helping disprove the claim, but to maintain the brand’s image and reputation as one of the nation’s premier fast food restaurant brands. On episode 39, “the infamous ‘finger in the chili’ incident,” Denny and Mark discuss crisis communications and why clear, consistent internal and external communication strategies are critical when businesses have to protect their brands from unforeseen crisis situations.

Go behind-the-scenes and find out what happened the night of March 22, 2005, when Denny received the call to inform him that a woman had found a “body part” in her Wendy’s chili and that a local San Jose, Calif., TV station was perched at the restaurant, poised to go “live” within the hour. And find out how he arrived at an answer to the simple, but profound question: “What are we going to do?”

Listen to episode 39 now to hear a first-person narrative outlining the essential steps Denny and his team took to navigate the crisis communication maze in an effort to respond with proper brand authority and authenticity. Then start thinking about what you would do if faced with a crisis unique to your business.

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Thanks for listening!

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official transcript

Click here to read the official transcript of episode 38: “the infamous ‘finger in the chili’ incident.”