Cheerios Media Relations Crisis Communication

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Crisis communication can be a tough field to work in when you are in the Public Relations Department. You have to be prepared for anything you create, because the reputation of a celebrity, company, and band can be destroyed within in seconds. Social media has so much power of that reputation because of the public display of feedback and reviews.

On April of 2016 Musician, Singer, Songwriter, and Music Producer, Prince Roger Nelson  died. There was a lot of attention given out to Prince to show some respect, but Cheerios did not get a good reaction from the way they publicized their “Rest in Peace”  post via twitter. Cheerios felt a strong connection to Prince, because they shared the same hometown in Minnesota.

Crisis: The image they displayed had a purple background with the words, “Rest in Peace.” The dot on the “i” was replaced with a Cheerio. Fans did not react to that well. The tweet was posted a couple of hours after Prince death was announced.

How was it handled? Cheerios removed the tweet after all the bad feedback, and then they released a statement.  General Mills said it wanted to “acknowledge the loss of a musical legend in its hometown.”

“But we quickly decided that we didn’t want the tweet to be misinterpreted, and removed it out of respect for Prince and those mourning,” the company said in a statement emailed to CNNMoney.

Was the crisis handled effectively?  The crisis was handled effectively. The tweet was brought down the same day it was posted, and Cheerios maker General Mills did make a statement. If there was not statement published after the tweet was taken down the company could’ve been at high risk of a bad reputation. The statement showed that they did not mean any harm or disrespect by the tweet.


5 thoughts on “Cheerios Media Relations Crisis Communication

Add yours

  1. Ra’Leshia,

    I remember hearing about this crisis situation when Prince passed away. I believe that since the public viewed this ad as not respectful, Cheerios did the correct thing. They received the negative backlash and right when they heard about the complaints they went ahead and removed it. You make a good point, since the statement was made quickly and appropriately, it showed Cheerios general concern for the public. Nice blog post about a crisis management situation!

    – BlondeGailinPR


  2. This is true, most likely they would have gotten even more backlash to discredit their company’s brand. To me, I feel like Cheerios was just trying to add a little flare in their farewell to hometown native, but when being a high revenue company, and fans of either side, some may think that the cheerio displacement, was to promote or advertise their brand off of tragedy, which was death of prince Roger Nelson. I really liked how you constructed your blog, and brought up quotes on the effectiveness and how the situation was handled.


  3. This was a good choice of topic! I remember when it was first released that Prince died. I never heard about Cheerios and dealing with crisis communication. Good job of bringing this topic to the light for the public. Although, in my opinion it wasn’t that big of a deal what the company did.


  4. This blog was really good. I like how you gave the definition of Crisis Communications. I do not remember ever seeing the release from Cheerios. You did a great job in bringing this situation to light. You made me do some research. In my opinion, it wasn’t a big mess up like the Pepsi commercial or other companies that have handled crisis wrong. Great post!


  5. I loved this blog! I also remember, like the others when this was brought up! It was sad to lose such an icon, but the things that happened because of this were crazy! I also did not think that it was a big deal, as much as they made it but they handled it well! This was a great crisis too choose!

    -> emiller40blog


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