Part 1. Background Chick-‐fil-‐A is a private, family owned fast-‐food restaurant. It is currently the second largest chicken chain in the nation. The company has received criticism after president and COO, Dan Cathy, released anti-‐gay remarks. On a radio interview, Cathy said, “we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.’” Part 2. Issues with audiences This statement affected several audiences. The gay community was extremely insulted. Those whose opinions contrast Cathy’s boycotted the chain. Many others were afraid they would be seen as anti-‐gay supporters if they purchased the product. As a result sales decreased. Irate customers who disagree with Chick-‐fil-‐A’s views are harassing employees in restaurants, further discouraging employees from wanting to work for a company involved in a scandal. Some political figures and town leaders feared bringing the controversy to their own areas and denied Chick-‐fil-‐A permits to open new stores. In addition, the media has released other information on Chick-‐fil-‐A that puts the company in a bad light. For example, it was released that the Chick-‐fil-‐A was funding anti-‐gay organizations. This further enraged the affected audiences. Part 3. Criteria PR agency must come up with a plan that shows Chick-‐fil-‐A is willing to accept the modern day views of same-‐sex marriage. The plan must target and appeal to all effected audiences while attracting positive media attention. 1. Chick-‐fil-‐A needs to advertise the company as accepting, focusing on the relationship between Cathy and LGBT leader, Shane Windmeyer. 2. Chick-‐fil-‐A needs to keep advertisers happy by any means possible in order to not lose anymore over this controversy. 3. Chick-‐fil-‐A should continue to respect its employees and protect them from harassment. Part 4. Analysis of options Chick-‐fil-‐A should apologize for the comments made by the CEO and focus on moving their funding from anti-‐gay groups to pro same-‐sex marriage groups. Pro: Old customers offended by comments will return. Company will be shown in a better light. Con: Conservative customers may leave the company and take their business elsewhere. This solution satisfies all 3 of the criteria.
Chick-‐fil-‐A could also stick to its beliefs but keep them separate from business. Pro: The company is showing they stick to their morals and beliefs. Con: Customers are still upset and stop shopping at Chick-‐fil-‐A. This solution satisfies criteria 2. Solution fails to satisfy criteria 1 and 3. Part 5. Recommendation The agency recommends the first option. This option will bring consumers back to stores, increase sales and keep the employees safe. It will also illustrate Chick-‐fil-‐A as tolerant and accepting company. All outcomes will shine a positive light on Chick-‐fil-‐A to improve its reputation.