“This is Us” fans are currently questioning the safety of their Crock-Pots after the show’s most recent episode, where it was revealed that a beloved main character could have been killed from a fire started by the slow cooker. How Crock-Pot itself responded was admirable to any public relations practitioner.
In an article posted on Inc, Amy George explains that Crock-Pot’s response to the sudden uncertainty surrounding their products was an excellent lesson in public relations, and I agree completely.
George states that Crock-Pot acted quickly, one of the most important elements of PR. With a crisis like this, though it is a unique one considering the show is fictional, the longer Crock-Pot would have waited to respond, the more harmful messages could have been created about the company. Crock-Pot shared the facts behind their products promptly and used their newly created Twitter account to engage with their audience–another important quality of good PR.
Crock-Pot acknowledged the pain “This is Us” fans were feeling, and encouraged them to ask any questions they were having about their products. This shows the company’s more relatable and empathetic side, reminding their consumers that they are an organization made up of people too.
Though “This is Us” did put Crock-Pot in a bad light, the responsibility of informing viewers about how safe the slow cookers are does not fall on them. “This is Us” is a show that is meant to entertain, not an informative commercial for Crock-Pot.
Letting users know how safe their products are is Crock-Pot’s own responsibility, and based on their response to this episode, they are ready and able to do so at any time.
Other organizations can learn how to effectively respond to a crisis from this, but it just might have to take some increased awareness of what’s going on in television’s most popular shows.