Sharing the Real, Live Love With McDonald’s
McDonald’s U.K. wants to engage with customers in a dialogue about the business. They want to know what people think, to encourage questions and provide answers. Psfk.com describes the new U.K.-based website, What Makes McDonald’s?, as an extension of previous attempts at transparency.
As Psfk.com points out, the site provides "articles and videos going behind the scenes … including information on food sourcing, its environmental contribution and charitable activities." Under heading "Our News, Your Views," discussions cover subjects labeled "Our Food," "Behind the Job," "London 2012," "Planet" and "Good Causes".
Comments and questions are encouraged as well as sharing on Facebook and Twitter. Links with organizations such as the Marine Stewardship Council, Football Association, and Compassion in World Farming are highlighted.
McDonald’s U.K. marketing VP Alastair Macrow said in a press release, "Over the last few years, we’ve worked hard to open up our business, both on- and offline. However, there are still lots of myths out there about McDonald’s, and lots of things that people simply don’t know about us."
Engaging through the direct channel of social media will bring the company closer to its customers, he added.
The new site builds on another site, makeupyourownmind.co.uk, launched by McDonald’s in 2007. McDonald’s’ claims more than 25,000 questions from the public have been answered since then. Its Facebook page, launched in 2011, has "more than 229,000 fans and is playing a key role in embedding digital and social media engagement into McDonald’s marketing and communications strategy."
The May 15 launch could be seen as coincidence, as critics (including doctors) have protested about McDonald’s sponsorship of the Olympics. Objections reported by AP and various British newspapers have ranged from concerns about conflicting messages from a company selling less than healthy food to concerns over stringent anti-competition conditions.
It seems McDonald’s wants to get cosy with its customers, and show that both the company and its customers are truly lovin’ it. Perhaps in view of its Olympics sponsorship, the site is primarily geared towards a British audience, but it begs the question, why do they feel the need to make such a concerted effort on top of the megabucks being invested in The Games?
- What makes McDonald’s? Find the facts, share your views and ask us a question – McDonald’s U.K.
- McDonald’s opens its virtual doors to take customers behind the scenes of its business – McDonald’s U.K.
- McDonald’s creates online portal to get real-time customer feedback – psfk.com
- Doctors blast McDonald’s Olympic sponsorship – Chicago Sun-Times
Discussion questions: To what degree is transparency becoming more important for restaurants and food sellers in general? How important is it for McDonald’s to set up a site for Americans offering similar levels of transparency and opportunity for discussion?