22 November, 2012

PR Rule Number One: Don't Make Your Customers Feel Guilty By Drawing Attention To Your Employees' Low Wages And Lack of Healthcare

There's been a new development in the case of Pap John Schnatter's attempt to monetize his hatred of President Obama. There was customer blow back. And probably a lot of employee blowback. I'll get to that in a moment but, due to blowback, Papa John Schnatter had to "walk back" his comments about ObamaCare and his threats to cut employee hours to make them ineligible for ObamaCare and to raise pizza prices to pay for ObamaCare.

Oh, and Denny's franchisee, John Metz, who owns about 40 Denny's restaurants in the Deep South more or less denounced by Denny's headquarters which issued a statement distancing  Denny's from the anti-ObamaCare comments of their big franchise owner.

I'm sure right about now both Denny's Metz and Papa John Schnatter are wondering why Chick-Fil-A's Dan Cathy was able to garner huge profits from his anti-gay donations and comments and subsequent denunciation by Obama ally, Rahm Emanuel.

Both Schnatter and Metz must be wondering why Chick-Fil-A's Cathy made money from his hatred of Obama and the things Obama stands for - like gay rights - and why they, Schnatter and Metz, caught crap for trying to monetize Obama hatred. I know the answer.

Schnatter and Metz made their customer's feel guilty for doing business at Denny's and Papa John's. That's right, by drawing attention to their employees' lack of healthcare, Schnatter and Metz committed the unpardonable sin: they reminded their customers that every time they do business with Papa John Schnatter and John Metz' Denny's franchises, their food is being prepared and delivered by people without healthcare or a living wage, people who can't afford to have their hours cut and people who are one major health problem away from bankruptcy.

WalMart is making a similar mistake. By fighting employees' attempts at gaining collective bargaining, higher wages and better healthcare, WalMart is reminding WalMart customers about the high human cost of low prices.

Man, WalMart, Metz and Papa John Schnatter have a lot to learn from Dan Cathy about how to monetize their hatred of Obama. Cathy was smart enough not to draw attention to his employees' low wages or lack of healthcare and he even got an Obama ally to publicly attack him and his company as not having the right values to get a license to open a Chick-Fil-A in Chicago.

No, I'm not calling for a boycott of WalMart, Pap John's or the John Metz Denny's franchises but before the next fast food titan tries to monetize Obama hatred by drawing attention to your employees' low wages and lack of healthcare, think of this: the customers you depend on for your riches are being served by employees who now know for sure that you don't give a damn about them and if it's true that happy employees give great customer service might it also be true that unhappy employees might give lousy customer service?

Yeah, that Dan Cathy at Chick-Fil-A is a genius. He managed to monetize his hatred of Obama by NOT drawing attention to non-existent healthcare and low wages. Why? He didn't make his customers feel guilty for enriching Cathy And he got an Obama ally to publicly denounce him.

I've always said if you want to get famous or make some money just get the right enemy to publicly attack you. It worked for Chick-Fil-A whose bigoted Deep South customer base came out in droves to buy chicken in sympathy with Cathy who was denounced by Rahm Emanuel.

For more on the genius or Dan Cathy's monetization of his hatred for Obama and Obama's values, see my 27 July 2012 post (in the archives).
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14 November, 2012

Papa John Schnatter You're No Chick-Fil-A Dan Cathy

Papa John Schnatter, you're no Chick-Fil-A Dan Cathy.

Yes, there are ultra-conservative , right wing, Obama-hating dollars to be made by getting famous for disagreeing with Obama about something, but threatening to cut your employees' hours to avoid providing Obamacare to your workers is not the way to do it.

You can learn a lot from Dan Cathy at Chick-Fil-A. Here's how Cathy leveraged the power of hate to bring out the right wing base and increase his same-store sales:

1. First, do like Dan Cathy did - pick the right battle. Don't pick Obamacare. Some of your Obama-hating customers secretly want some Obamacare because, without it, they won't have any healthcare. Learn from Dan Cathy who appealed to the homophobia that is rife in the GOP base. Don't try to increase same store sales by asking your customers to rally for you on a pocketbook issue like healthcare. If there's one thing Republican evangelicals hate more than gay people it's not having any healthcare.

2. Don't directly attack Obama or one of his policies, get somebody in the Obama administration to attack you - as Rahm Emanuel did when Chick-Fil-A , infamous for its anti-gay personnel policies and its financial support for anti-gay organizations, when Chick-Fil-A tried to get a business license to operate in Rahm Emanuel's Chicago. Cha-Ching. Millions of gay-hating, chicken-eating evangelicals flocked to Chick-Fil-A restaurants to stand up. stand up for Jeezussss buy supporting a business that picks on gays.

3. Spend a little time courting and wooing the right wingers, cooing and dog whistling in their ears as Cathy did before Rahm Emanuel attacked him. Chick-Fil-A spent years dog-whistling evangelicals - closing on Sundays, catering free chicken to meetings of the ultra-conservative Christian Business Men's Committee, and, of course, getting sued for unfair treatment of their gay employees and applicants.

Joining Louisville's mega Southeast Christian Church and being seen playing golf with Senior Pastor, Bob Russell, isn't the same as showing gays the love of Jeeezussss by being mean to them.

Come on, Papa John Schnatter, get in the game. Where's the dog-whistle in making TV commercials starring pro football players? Give your base the spokespeople they want. Don't try to play the anti-gay card - Chick-Fil-A already did that. Your right wing base is dying to buy pizza from a chain that questions Obama's citizenship so why not give them head birthers Donald Trump and Joe Arpaio? And your base loves to portray  their God as a deity that is willing to kill innocent people to punish "ungodly" politicians so why not give your TV commercial viewers Michele Bachmann, who famously said God sent deadly earthquakes and hurricanes  to get Washington's attention.

Do a TV commercial starring all the high-profile anti-science and anti-women candidates who were defeated in their recent races: Deadbeat dad and soon-to-be-former-Congressman, Joe Walsh, who recently said women don't die in childbirth anymore so there's no need for the "life of the mother exception" in abortion  law. And don't forget  "Legitimate Rape" candidate, Todd Akin.  

And if you really want your same-store sales to spike, give viewers a TV commercial in which defeated VP candidate, Paul Ryan, calls rape just another method of conception.

But do it today before Dan Cathy at Chick-Fil-A thinks of it.
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