“Rebecca on McDonald’s” … (2)

McDonald’s Clarity Not on Menu

If “lack of clarity” [1] is really what McDonald’s Hong Kong believes as a casue for apology after the Husi food scare, then what clarification its management might have intended to seek by staging a four-minute press briefing has achieved just the opposite, leaving us more confused. Clearly, clarity has never been on the fast-food giant’s menu.


McDonald’s Hong Kong held a four-minute briefing on Sunday (27 July), with an invitation sent out only two hours in advance.  Well, you might have believed it was something important when you got it.  Or you might even have assumed the fast-food giant had finally come to its senses and had something better than rotten meat to offer.  Sadly, you are wrong.


The four-minute is a de facto reading session for the company’s head-honcho, Miss Randy Lai.  Somewhere along her utterance she “deeply apologizes to Hong Kong consumers for the lack of clarity”, with a nod that seems to represent a bow, against a backdrop of five nondescript people who are widely believed as her management team.  But she fails even to clarify if they are.

One thing we are clear, though, is that Miss Lai has once again mired us into confusion by refusing to take questions, leaving the roomful of hopeful press people behind, clearly too upset to stomach such McClarity.

Hong Kong Journalists Association’s chairwoman, Sham Yee-lan, has this comment: “dodging follow-up questions by the media is not a good way to handle an issue, but many corporations have adopted this approach.” [2]

Department of Journalism and Communication Macau Retreat – 17-18/7/2014



荷蘭園大馬路 – 圖書館跨越三個世紀

Professor Tony Schirato, Head of Department of Communication, Macau University







澳門新聞局 – 南灣大馬路762-804號中華廣場15樓




澳門日報 – 慕拉士大馬路218號



“Rebecca on McDonald’s”


“Rebecca offers a perspective on McDonald’s faux pas”
Dear All

Lately a few of you have written to me asking what I thought of McDonald’s food scare.  While I jokingly coined it McScary I also offered the below and would like to share with those who have an interest in exploring further into the scandal’s PR perspective:

McDonald’s is a fastfood chain that has grown with Hong Kong for the best part of the city’s history. It came to the city in mid-70′s and since then, it has grown to 235 stores [1], and kind of “nurtured” what we see as the most upbeat and affluent generation. What it has sold us all along is its reliability. For the fastfood chain, its service is about providing an excellent customer experience, which involves putting systems in place so that customers get a consistent, high quality experience no matter which employee is working that day.

So, no matter who is working there that day, you will always get the same experience as they will always put X amount of salt into Y amount of fries and serve you within Z number of minutes. What’s more, even the employees there always greet you the same way in the same tone and manners with the same smile regardless of his or her emotions : )) – right?

For McDonald’s, that’s how they want their business to be. And for us (the normal, everyday customers), we call it reliability. Now if such reliability is no longer there, we can imagine how hard it is for us to swallow indeed.

Have a happy and healthy summer!

Rebecca[1] www.mcdonalds.com.hk

DBC 「非常班房」

嘉賓: 香港樹仁大學 新聞與傳播學系-馬偉傑博士

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