In 2010, Panera Bread launched an experiment at one of its St. Louis locations: Instead of asking customers to pay a set price for their food like almost every other restaurant in existence, the store instead directed customers towards a sign at the entrance reading: “Take what you need; leave your fair share.” Instead of asking for payment, cashiers give customers a receipt telling them how much the item would normally cost; patrons can decide how much they want to pay, and leave their cash in a donation box (they can also swipe a credit card).
The Panera Cares cafés have been surprisingly successful, pulling in up to 80% of what the regular cafés make. That’s enough to make a profit. The hope with the new experiment is that Panera will make enough to cover the cost of the turkey chili and use the rest of the cash to pay for local hunger programs. Anyone in need of food would do well to snag a bowl of the chili, which has a satiating 850 calories.
By 9 a.m., snowfall and ice layered Columbia. Due to severe weather creating hazardous traveling conditions, Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency, yet Chancellor Deaton did not issue a closure.
The University of Missouri’s official Twitter account took a lowball approach and tweeted, “To reiterate, classes are in session. Please ignore 2 year old retweets.” The only reason people were retweeting those was because conditions were unsafe for students to travel and it was humorous the university thought it could win against mother nature. Moments later, their social team tweeted, “sidewalks and roads on campus are passable.” That’s wonderful, but what about the overwhelming majority of us who live off-campus? Were you planning on sending Campus Facilities into the City of Columbia and take care of the roads? Are the crews at Mizzou more equipped than the City of Columbia? And yet again, within the hour they stated: “snowfall amounts that…will be able to handle effectively.” Did you even look outside and see for yourselves? Were you planning to “handle effectively” the students who could have been injured on the way to class? Keep in mind that you did close University of Missouri Health Care outpatient clinics.
As they say, if you are not willing to contribute to the solution, don’t complain. Here is my solution: if Mizzou was SO adamant about remaining open (which I don’t understand what one-day of closure is going to affect, just ask my professors who habitually cancel class—it’s nothing new to us, the students) why didn’t the Chancellor, “of one of the great universities of the future,” do his part as a leader? There are an overwhelming number of resources, for instance, Mizzou Advantage!
The purpose of Mizzou Advantage is to “increase MU’s visibility, stature and impact in higher education and enhance instructional programs” and “the value of an MU degree.” Mizzou Advantage toots its horn featuring “a wide array of expertise and resources all located on the same campus, MU does things no other university can.” You’re right, Mizzou, you did do things no other university can, by placing the safety of your students at harm. Why didn’t you delve into “Media of the Future” and instruct professors to conduct classes online via Blackboard, email, social media networks, or an array of emerging platforms to strengthen our use in digital technologies? Perhaps you were relying on implementing “One Health/One Medicine” as the state’s major public research university connecting research and instruction in health care delivery, policy, business models, medical ethics and the culture of healthy living after students resulted in injury.
Today, brands become damaged because of their poor communications, which usually results and lies at the company’s head. Mizzou’s Twitter and Facebook accounts should never have ignored complaints. This was not a handful of students complaining, but professors, news broadcasts and even the Governor. Yesterday, Chancellor Deaton, the University of Missouri’s public relations and social media team failed during crisis communication. Good PR results in being sympathetic, taking responsibility for company’s errors and being transparent.
Strategic PR and social teams are prepared for crisis communication/emergency situations. I think it’s time Mizzou created one.
Who knew Kansas City was in Missouri? …and other tweets
Twitter is great for a lot of things: breaking news, communicating with fans and staying in touch on a variety of topics. It also opens our eyes to the number of people who are stunned. STUNNED! to learn that Kansas City is in fact in Missouri.
Yes, there is a Kansas City, Kansas. And, yes, the name Kansas City sure sounds like it’s in Kansas. But, no, the Kansas City everyone refers to is not in Kansas. It’s in Missouri, where last night’s homerun derby took place.
During the Homerun Derby last night Joel Thorman collected a bunch of tweets from people who confused Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas.
Check out more here.