In the wake of store closure due to an E. coli outbreak, Chipotle is dropping the ball on crisis management by not monitoring and targeting press that influence the conversations surrounding the outbreak crisis. That’s what Lexalytics partner, Trendkite, writes in their blog post, Coverage Chipotle Should Be Monitoring to Manage E. Coli Crisis.
More than simply critiquing Chipotle’s response, or lack thereof, Trendkite has done its own homework on the press coverage surrounding the E. Coli outbreak and has used that data to outline some suggestions as to how Chipotle could better frame the conversation.
Trendkite’s analysis shows that the press focus is on the outbreak, instead of on Chipotle’s proposed solutions. Their press coverage interactive report on Chipotle in the aftermath of the discovery of E. Coli demonstrates that focus. The Top Chipotle Key Messages as gathered by Trendkite are E. Coli, Outbreak, Death, Lawsuit, and Closed Stores – not exactly the kind of messages one wants their brand to be associated.
But Chipotle has allowed this to happen by not involving themselves in directing their brand messaging. Chipotle should not be silent, quite the opposite, argues Sean Couch on the Trendkite blog. Only by listening and responding to conversations on social media can Chipotle stay on top of their messaging. By staying quite, they’re letting the conversation be about the problem, and not about everything they’re doing to fix that problem.
Analysis like the kind Trendkite produces is essential to monitoring what is being said and determining who is driving the conversation, providing crucial information that can then be acted on.
How should Chipotle have proceeded? According to the Trendkite blog post, targeted responses on industry related news outlets paired with real-time social media responses would “help Chipotle reassure its loyal brand advocates that they are doing everything they can to resolve the problem.”