First, thanks to Doug Walton for pointing me at this story. I’m sure that Burgerville employee who told the mom on a bike that should couldn’t use up the drive-in window had no idea her story would end up in USA Today. She rolled up on her bike in bike-friendly Portland, OR and was told no go. As she rode away she tweeted her unhappiness with this strange policy. It was not difficult for the USA Today reporter to find the irony in a chain that prides itself (and invests heavily) in eco-friendliness to have such a policy. It is afterall a big part of their website.
The Burgerville folks may have their head in green, but not in the sand like United Airlines (see post just before this one) so quickly apologized and either changed the highly questionable policy or communicated to their drive-in window staff to not turn mothers with four cheeseburger orders away at the window.
But, for everybody in business, the real question is obvious. What bonehead, lawyer-driven policy do we have that will be tweeted and end up in USA Today? Or even more real, what careless decision or action might be taken by one of our young, inexperienced staff that will end us up being written about in about a hundred crisis communication blogs? If you are in Public Affairs, marketing or any form of communications for almost any company these days–send this blog to your CEO or just send her a link to the USA Today article and ask: what about us?