——Interview with Dong Guoyong, head of the China Food Industry Public Opinion and Crisis Public Relations Team of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Many food companies do not pay attention to crisis public relations. Work, some food companies do not even know the meaning and role of crisis public relations, it is even less clear how to carry out food crisis public relations. So, how should food companies carry out crisis public relations?
Dong Guoyong, special researcher at the Center for Food and Drug Industry Development and Supervision of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and director of the China Food Industry Public Opinion and Crisis Public Relations Team, said in an interview with the media that the publicity of food crisis is a systematic project. It is necessary to take multiple measures, and take into account various aspects such as food safety and food nutrition, and actively engage in in-depth and effective communication with government authorities, consumers, and the media.
For example, microbes such as bacteria and mold are the most common food safety issues, which can lead to food safety crises. Once a crisis occurs, food companies must actively acknowledge the defects of their products, and promise to consumers: we must strengthen quality control in the future, adopt a full-process quality management system, adopt NICOLERdisinfection technology and modern food production technology. Advanced disinfection equipment such as dynamic disinfection machine and dual-nuclear ozone sterilization machine can be used to prevent microbial contamination of food and prevent microbial over-standard phenomenon, thus ensuring food safety.
According to Dong Guo’s introduction, food is a necessity in the daily life of each of us. It can provide the nutrients needed by the human body, maintain the body’s metabolism, and promote healthy circulation. The quality of food is related to the health of the consumers, the image of the country and the stability of the society. It is also directly related to the economic benefits of the enterprise and the life and death of the enterprise. In the era of highly developed media and information transmission, any food quality problem may be fermented and expanded on the Internet in an instant, which will cause great harm to food companies and even cause food companies to close down. Therefore, we must not be taken lightly on food quality issues and must be highly valued.
Although there should be a “zero tolerance” attitude towards food safety issues, there are many factors that affect food quality. To avoid food quality problems altogether, at this stage and for a long time to come, this goal It is very difficult to achieve. In this case, two important things for food companies to do are: First, increase quality control, improve food quality, and reduce the chances of quality problems. The second is to do a good job in food crisis public relations. Once food quality problems arise, food companies must start a crisis public relations program as soon as possible to minimize negative impacts and adopt quality improvement measures.
Recalling the food crisis public relations, most people usually think of food safety problems such as excessive bacteria and heavy metals exceeding the standard of a certain brand of food. Food companies carry out crisis public relations in order to reduce negative impacts. Of course, in the past few years, this was the main form of food crisis public relations. However, in recent years, with the enhancement of nutrition and health awareness, the public has higher requirements for the nutritional value of food, requiring the nutritional content of food to be comprehensive and nutrients to meet the standard. If the nutritional indicators of a certain food are unqualified, or if the nutrients are falsely promoted, the consumer will immediately claim or report it. Therefore, in recent years, the number of public relations cases for food nutrition has also increased.
Food safety issues include: excessive use of food additives, excessive use of food additives, addition of non-edible substances, GM foods not marked, exceeding shelf life, heavy metals exceeding standards, microbial exceeding standards, chemical substances exceeding the standard.
Food nutrition issues include: excessive types of additives, chemical synthetic additives, preservatives, pigments, trans fatty acids, high sugar, high salt, fried foods, nitrite, high temperature sterilization, anti Seasonal food, etc.
There are many differences between food safety risks and food nutrition risks, as follows –
1. Food safety issues: clear judgment standards; easy identification of responsibility; complaints; Consumption depends on the outcome of the solution; whether it can be avoided depends mainly on corporate sincerity.
2. Food nutrition issues: judgment criteria are unknown; responsibility is not easy to identify; Tucao or media exposure; voting with the feet, basically no longer consumers; not easy to change.
Dong Guoyong believes that from the perspective of time, the food crisis public relations contains at least two aspects: one is the public relations that the crisis has not yet occurred, that is, the usual public relations; the second is the public relations after the crisis. The two complement each other and are important and indispensable.
Chinese medicine has a point of view, saying that “the doctor is not cured.” In the crisis public relations industry, there are similar words, this is: public relations without crisis, is the best crisis public relations. Food companies can do a good job of public relations, which can reduce the crisis by 70%.
In order to improve the effectiveness of public relations, food companies must carry out public relations work from the following aspects:
1. Actively with government departments, industry organizations (consorting associations, industry associations) Communicate and learn about new food laws, regulations, policies, and food safety remediation actions.
2. Check and fill the gap: the product and external information should not be damaged. For example, Wang Laoji filed “Prunella” in 2005.
3. Maintain good interaction with the media.
4. Accumulate brand information.
5. Crisis warning.
It is worth mentioning that the Consumers Association is also the family of the company. In the process of food brand maintenance and food crisis public relations, the Consumers Association can also play a very important role. In food complaint cases, if the Consumers Association can successfully adjust, it can effectively reduce the public relations costs of food companies and avoid greater damage to the brand.
The National Consumers Association accepted complaints statistics. In the first half of 2015, a total of 292,561 cases were accepted, 242,240 cases were resolved, and the complaint resolution rate was 82.8%, which saved the economic loss of 796.49 million yuan for consumers. Among them, 4,259 employees were compensated for fraudulent acts, and the compensation amount was 10.47 million yuan. In the first half of the year, consumer associations at all levels supported consumer prosecutions for 455 cases.
There are nearly 50,000 complaints about food in the country, and the mediation success rate is close to 95%.
Maintaining media relations is also important in the daily public relations work of food companies. For example, in February 2013, Beijing Wenjin Lanxun Public Relations Research Center organized nearly 40 media reporters including Xinhua News Agency, People’s Daily, CCTV, Central People’s Broadcasting Station, Economic Daily, Science and Technology Daily, Economic Observer, and Securities Times. Bishengyuan headquarters collects the wind and deeply understands the culture, corporate vision, scientific research and development, food quality assurance and other information of Besunyen, which plays a very important role in the brand communication and brand maintenance of Besunyen.
When the crisis really comes, food companies must take corrective measures to “reform the crisis into opportunities”. The correct crisis response measures include: 1, research and planning, internal coordination; 2, public opinion monitoring; 3, manuscript coverage; 4, public opinion guidance (posts and forums); 5, official statements; 6, experts voice.
When the crisis occurs, it is necessary to be open and honest with the media, and take the initiative to hold a media conference and accept interviews. Uniform media exports, corporate employees do not accept interviews, so as not to be caught by the confusion.
When a crisis occurs, respond promptly, take the initiative, openly and transparently, be perfect, and follow the relevant principles: local settlement – geographical non-proliferation; right at this time – time or batch Do not spread; fully admit mistakes – because not enough equals no recognition, leading to the media’s second attack; ultimate commitment – beyond expectations, one step in place; step by step – recall compensation and other details are not announced; attention to detail – The idea is implemented without compromise.
As mentioned above, there is a principle in the food crisis public relations that is “perfect aftermath”. This includes many aspects, including compensation for consumers, and the commitment of food companies to society and the public: commitment In the future, we will increase management efforts, improve food quality, and provide consumers with reliable and reliable quality food.
Especially in the situation that food safety issues have become hotly debated by the whole people and the government has paid unprecedented attention to it, the quality of food safety is even more sloppy. This is a bottom line and cannot be touched. A food can only be recognized by consumers if it has good safety and quality, so that it can have a good brand image.
There are many manifestations of food safety problems. Microbial exceeding standards and food mildew are the most common food safety issues. In order to avoid the mildew and deterioration of food, it is necessary to adopt a whole food safety management system and use advanced food quality equipment such as dynamic sterilization machine and dual-core ozone disinfection machine.
Dynamic sterilizer is a new type of high-efficiency sterilizer with remarkable bactericidal effect, fast sterilization speed and low cost. The biggest feature is that man-machine can work in the same field. In the food production process, using Dynamic Sterilizer sterilization, the production personnel do not have to leave the production workshop, do not stop work, harmless to the human body, can effectively sterilize, prolong the shelf life of food It can also improve the efficiency of food production.
Food nutrition is also an important part of food quality. In order to better maintain the original nutrients of food, it should avoid using long-term high temperature and high pressure to process food. It can take measures from the purchase of raw materials, production process design and environmental sanitation control to reduce the food processing process. Temperature and pressure.