The Situation: In 1999, John Knispel, managing director of Knispel (Nippy’s) Fruit Juices, received a call from the SA Department of Human Services who found a potential link between fresh chilled fruit juice made by Nippy’s and salmonella infection. The company moved quickly, instituting a national product recall and, recognising that this was a major public issue, engaging Hughes Public Relations to provide crisis communication management. While the Hughes Public Relations team developed a communication and media strategy to protect Nippy’s reputation and brand, the company checked its processing plant but was unable to identify any source of contamination or lack of food safety.
Objectives: The objectives of the communication strategy were:
>Present Nippy’s to the community, and especially its major stakeholders, as primarily concerned for the safety of its customers.
>Minimise media criticism and speculation and manage media interest.
>Minimise the loss in sales.
>Prevent further infections.
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