"Don't Practice Until You Get It Right. Practice Until You Cant Get It Wrong."
- Author Unknown
We all understand the importance of planning and preparation. New regulations are driving this spirit --the premise behind the Food Safety Modernization Act is prevention verses reaction. So what does best in class preparedness look like? It is robustly testing your programs and actively monitoring all forms of media channels to understand what people are saying about your company and your brand to stay ahead of risks.
Some of the services NRS offers in this area include the following:
Simulations: Haven't had a product recall in 15 years? Good for you! But how do you know your recall plan actually works? Many companies take some confidence in the fact they do a ‘mock trace” exercise annually. Again-good! However a mock trace exercise frankly primarily tests your traceability systems. To really challenge your product recall and crisis management plan you want to test your people, process AND your systems that simulates an actual recall (or other food safety related event you wish to test) as close to real life as possible. This may mean starting with a consumer complaint coming in through your consumer affairs department, or a call from a supplier to your purchasing department letting you know they shipping you contaminated product, and then actively seeing how the incident identification , escalation, investigation and risk assessment, recall decisions and recall strategy / execution decisions are handled including communications with all the various stakeholders involved in a recall and regulatory reporting obligations in certain cases. There are a lot of moving parts in a recall.
Are you ready for a recall? Why not practice in a time of calm rather than a time of crisis and find out?
Social Media Strategies:
Leveraging social media in food safety communications is a sign of a best in class food safety program. Using traditional media alone is like giving a written press statement vs. a live press conference where questions may be posed for Q&A. in the former there is no dialogue—no engagement; in the latter there is that opportunity for discussion. That is exactly was social media provides and why many people take their issues or complaints to Facebook or Twitter and some even go viral. It is because they want to engage—whether its to engage others in their displeasure, plight, anger, disgust or on occasion thankfully –praise, they yearn for engagement. When they are denied this-they tend to become further frustrated.
The a practical sense, it is harder to settle a claim when emotions or anger is present and by offering consumers the opportunity to engage, ask questions or go to a FAQ url to see if there question is addressed, (is the cheese I bought yesterday a part of that recall I just heard about on TV?) or submit their question to a live chat or email or have the option to call a toll free number, the consumer is more inclined to stay calm, and reasonably settle a claim.
Companies should have social media plans in place that contemplate how product recalls will be communicated and monitored, and how the platform can be leveraged on a day-to-day basis. NRS helps companies develop customized social media strategy plans that incorporate their food safety programs and strategies that balance with each companies' corporate risk tolerance.
Brand Reputation Services:
- Recall Communications Management –Press releases, customer communications, FAQs, serving as liaison to media, FDA/USDA, etc.
- Social Media Strategy Integration to Food Safety Plans
- Complaint Management Procedures (ensuring appropriate issue identification, escalation, cross-functional investigations and much more, all working to protect the consumer and the brand)
- Call Center Support