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NeverSeconds: How should council have dealt with 9 year old pupil's viral school dinner blog?

By Max Prangnell |

June 15, 2012 | 3 min read

Here's an interesting crisis communications conundrum...

A sweet looking nine year old girl sets up a blog called NeverSeconds, on which she posts photographs of her school lunches and scores them marks out of ten. Sometimes it's a two sometimes it's a 10. The site, which also encourages readers to donate to an African food aid charity, attracts over two million hits in a few weeks. The local paper picks up the story and asks a celebrity chef for his take on the idea. He's impressed, so the paper runs with the headline, 'Time to fire the dinner ladies.' The dinner ladies start to cry, thinking their jobs are on the line. You are the executive director of community services for the local authority which runs the school meals service at the little girl's school.

Do you:

a/. Reassure the dinner ladies that their jobs aren't on the line and offer to work with the little girl along with her fellow pupils to ensure meals provided are regularly scoring 10 out of 10 Then issue a statement and organise some press coverage thanking the little girl for her input and praising her for her great work on behalf of disadvantaged kids.

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b/ Run away, hide and think about changing your name

c/. Issue an instant ban on the girl taking photographs. Write a poorly constructed and desperately shrill statement pointing the finger at everyone except yourself, defending the poor sensitive dinner ladies and then spend the rest of the day thinking that's the end of the matter and you've handled a potentially tricky corporate reputational issue really well.

Answers on a postcard please to:

Cleland Sneddon

Executive Director of Community Services

The People's Republic of Argyll and Bute


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