This is a confidential internal memo on McDonald's PR strategy in relation to an Australian documentary ("60 Minutes") which was being made on the McLibel case. The memo was leaked to the documentary makers, who included parts of it in their programme. It is clear that McDonald's wanted to deter any discussion of the issues and generally tried to avoid being interviewed. This memo helps reveal the Corporation's dilemma around the WHOLE world.
|DISTRIBUTE TO:||DICK STARMANN - Snr Vice President McDonald's Corp|
|MIKE LOVE - Head of Communications UK|
|PETER RITCHIE - Head of McDonald's Australia|
|Professional Public Relation|
|(Kyle Smith, Peter Lazar)|
We know that 60 Minutes has been in Chicago (15/4-21/4) filming in various locations with the two defendants and a group of supporters. They are scheduled to be in the UK (2/4-24/4) where we can only assume they will be doing more of the same.
When 60 Minutes returns to Australia, we know they will contact us for an interview with Peter Ritchie to discuss our point of view on the case. We must be prepared. The following is the suggested strategy and actions for the period from the return of 60 Minutes to the period after the show has gone to air.
The Case for No!
The Case for Yes!
We should definitely not agree to an interview.
HOW DOES PETER RITCHIE DECLINE THE 60 MINUTES INTERVIEW?
We know that 60 Minutes always promo the stories they are going to run the week prior - sometimes highlighting a lead story. We expect this to be the lead story. Therefore, we could receive requests from other media, especially radio and print prior to the story going to air.
THE REASONS FOR DECLINING PRIOR INTERVIEWS
Firstly, we should play down any importance or significance of the 60 Minutes programme and therefore not have Peter Ritchie or Charlie Bell involved with media contact. John Blyth should field all media calls/requests.
1ST OPTION - For all media follow up (TV, Print, Radio)
Refer all calls to the UK office (designated spokesperson) for any further information and follow up. We will furnish phone, fax nos etc. This will keep our consistent approach in this not being an Australian issue.
What if there is significant pressure to know what Australia's point of view is and there is a ground swell of public opinion building and running against us as a result of the 60 Minutes programme. Then if this occurs (unlikely), it would primarily come from radio talk back and print. Other TV stations would not touch the issue after 60 Minutes has done the story.
Who should we talk to?
|2.||Brian Bury||}||All to be handled by Peter|
|3.||John Law||}||Ritchie because of his|
|relationship with the presenters|
Who should we not talk to?
We should send a statement - basically incorporating the 60 Minutes statement. No print interviews should be granted.
Refer to UK for a news grab.
Given them proposed statement.
No interviews (not likely due to 60 Minutes covering story).
Brief all interstate offices (receptionists) to refer all calls to Sydney to Communications Department.
All Australian staff to be alerted to the 60 Minutes programme once an on air date has been confirmed, via a memo. This memo should highlight the fact that this is a UK issue and that we declined to be interviewed and that any enquiries from customers should be referred to the Communications Department and that we should limit any discussion about the issue so as not to keep it running unnecessarily.
This strategy covers all potential situations and will be updated, changed or adapted if events change. This will not be a positive story for McDonald's Australia, but by being prepared we hopefully can deal effectively with each situation as it arises and minimise any further negative publicity.