Sample Research Paper on KFC Communication Strategy

KFC Communication Strategy

Introduction

Kentucky Fried Chicken is an American fast food chain company that deals with fried chicken and other comfort foods. Over time, the business has been able to grown its brand in the restaurant industry. It owns various brands, including LFC, Taco Bell, A&W, and Long John Silver’s. KFC faces strong competition from other companies such as Chick-Fil-A and Church’s, among others. It also faces competition from supermarkets, service stations, and coffee shops that are now selling fast foods, thus fragmenting the existing market. The company has sought to reduce the current brand identity crisis by developing a direct communication strategy (Lehu, 2007). The communication strategy includes the designing of a logo aimed towards improving the advertising and marketing campaign. In addition, KFC has also sought to form partnerships and business agreements with local farms for the supply of ingredients to the company. Following the inception of healthy eating habits in the United States, the company was keen to change its diet offers.  For instance, KFC started using cooking fat with zero grams of trans-fat per serving. In this report, I will comprehensively discuss the nature of corporate communication strategy and activities in KFC.

Corporate Communication Area

Communication is essential in current perceptions of the company towards delivering effective customer services. An effective corporation communication strategy provides a link between the customers and the organization. The development of KFC’s communication strategy was modeled on enhancing communication – both externally and internally – in delivering quality services. Most importantly, the corporate communications have focused on improving the customer care levels. There is a need to improve the current customer structures, which are significant in understanding communication. Corporate communication activities also emphasize on the media relations of the organization. KFC recognizes the value of media as a way of communicating information to other stakeholders (Aaker, 2009). It coordinates the corporate and communication activities necessary in delivering clear messages. The company’s public relations department is tasked with the role of delivering available news.  This enhances improved planning and coordination of communication activities; all media issues are forwarded to the public relations department.  KFC’s corporate identity has also been crucial towards promoting corporate image and communication strategy.  The public relations department also helped in the design of the company’s logo, brand names, and promotional material. This was crucial in maintaining the integrity of the company’s corporate identity.

Internal Communication

KFC has sought to establish a smooth flow of information necessary to support commitment towards implementation of the company’s vision and objectives. The management teams are required to communicate their decisions and strategic ideas to relevant departments.  This helps in promoting the accuracy and timeliness of the communication challenges. It also facilitates the employees’ understanding of corporate communication measures. Most importantly, KFC values face-to-face communication during highly sensitive meetings, as well as during the briefings of teams. The face-to-face interactions have been instrumental in making sure that all teams are working effectively.  To enhance internal communication, KFC has established e-communication systems (Aaker, 2009). The internet communication applications have been essential in promoting the ease of engagement between the employees. The online communication channels also support the development of information related to policies and frameworks of performing the daily activities.

Investor Relations

In terms of investor relations, KFC provides a wide variety of shareholders’ tools and programs towards the buying of stocks. Investor relations have sought to develop a relevant relationship between capital markets and the company. This has sought to provide relationship investors and business partners. However, it also supports improved current and transparent information relating to the organization. Most importantly, KFC provides the investors with trading day adjustments (Lehu, 2007). The calculations of trading day adjustments (TDAs) are useful in the analysis of monthly comparable sales among the different years. Also, KFC had a direct stock purchase and reinvestment program that allows investors to make purchases of the company’s common stock.  The company has also integrated the stock purchase systems through online accounts. KFC also uses open and intensive communication to give shareholders the opportunity to evaluate their shares and attractiveness for investing in different opportunities.

Corporate Responsibility

KFC’s corporate social responsibility involves various social responsibility campaigns. For instance, the campaign has developed the necessary program to deal with TB and Malaria. KFC has taken over important responsibilities to the customers in supplying quality chicken in an efficient manner. The company has also emphasized on the need to treat meat in an ethical, healthy manner. KFC also rewards the sponsors of elderly people in the community. In addition, the company has developed a Colonel’s Kids program – a charity organization that educates and grows people in a better way.  The company has established strong scholarships and diversity programs promoting social responsibility. Most importantly, it has supported the performance of various community initiatives and programs. Among its corporate communication activities, KFC’s philosophy of diversity allows for a workforce from diverse backgrounds. Thus, the company promotes a global culture relevant in supporting sustainability in the organization. Yum! Brand is also focused towards performing its business activities in an ethical manner. This includes the focus on complying with the various legal provisions and ethical business activities; this is defined in the company’s supplier code of conduct.  The company has also made remarkable steps towards reducing the environmental footprints and plans.

Crisis Communication

KFC recognizes the need to support the elements of crisis communication in the organization. This involves the communication of customers with the staff to limit the impacts of the crises, as well as mitigating the crisis responsibilities. Some of the crisis events that could occur in the restaurants include fires, protests, deaths, and natural disasters, among other incidents that may need a public response. In crisis communication, KFC felt the need to create a crisis communication team. The team usually comprises of the company’s employees and staff from relevant organizations in dealing with the crisis. The team usually convenes to discuss and communicate important information to the restaurant (Jin-ling, 2012).

In one of the most popular examples, KFC faced a major crisis after an Australian girl suffered brain damage usually caused by salmonella poisoning. It was claimed that the employees at KFC usually dropped chickens on the floor. The poisoning of the girl led to worrying results in the subsidiaries in Australia.  In dealing with such crisis, the company responded immediately announcing that it would donate $30,000 to the girl and undertake a detailed investigation on the incident. Such crisis requires in-depth investigation to avoid further situations in future. Also, KFC public relations manager apologized to the media over the incident. Considering the severity of the crisis, the number in the team is determined.  It also facilitates the communication of supplemental information to the relevant stakeholders in the organization.

Community Relations

The corporate communication strategy has emphasized on the need of promoting community relations. For instance, KFC’s regular events and programs represent the organization in the community. This acts as a major, effective way of communicating to the community some of its product and service information. Community relations efforts are necessary towards creating a positive perception in the community (Opoku, Abratt, Bendixen & Pitt, 2007). The company has staff tasked with the role to develop and implement significant community outreach programs such as social and community awareness programs. This has been useful in building the company’s positive image and reputation. Some of the events and programs include internal events and fairs. The communication with the community has been crucial in supporting community programs as well as creating an increased awareness of the organization.

Recommendations

KFC should seek to improve its flexibility and capacity to deal with fast changing events and technological changes. These are certain key elements in improving the delivery of communication activities in the company. It is also recommendable for KFC to keep its corporate communication strategy under regular review – in terms of developing new policies, expanding its technological capacity, and communication to other sectors. It is important to analyze and monitor the corporate communication strategy activities in KFC since they guide in improving the overall performance and communication of the company. Firstly, the management should enhance the internal communication activities towards implementing the organizational vision and objectives. Crisis communication should also be improved to limit the crisis and any probable losses (Ottenbacher & Harrington, 2009). The company has staff tasked with the role to develop and implement significant community outreach programs such as social and community awareness programs. KFC’s corporate social responsibility involves various social responsibility campaigns; for instance, the firm has developed the necessary program to deal with TB and Malaria. KFC provides a wide variety of shareholders with tools and programs for the buying of stock. Investor relations have sought to develop a relevant relationship between capital markets and the company.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Aaker, D. A. (2009). Brand portfolio strategy: Creating relevance, differentiation, energy, leverage, and clarity. New York, NY:  and Schuster.

Jin-ling, M. A. (2012). Global Consumerism and Local Marketing Strategy——Advertising Discourse Analysis of KFC and McDonalds. Journal of Beihua University (Social Sciences), 2, 027.

Lehu, J. M. (2007). Branded entertainment: Product placement & brand strategy in the entertainment business. London, UK: Kogan Page Publishers.

Opoku, R. A., Abratt, R., Bendixen, M., & Pitt, L. (2007). Communicating brand personality: are the web sites doing the talking for food SMEs?. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 10(4), 362-374.

Ottenbacher, M. C., & Harrington, R. J. (2009). The product innovation process of quick-service restaurant chains. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 21(5), 523-541.