pink slime in hamburger meat: a crisis communications dream opportunity
In this age of content bombardment, how did I miss the pink slime in hamburger meat? Seriously…I was just brainstorming a little bit with some colleagues about what I could blog about today, and they said, “Not the pink slime.” I had no idea what they were talking about (and wish that I remained blissfully ignorant on the topic); it had been a busy week and I somehow was able to keep my focus on the important things. But now I can’t stop thinking about pink slime.
So it is a plus or a minus that the onslaught of content from social and traditional media means we are able to know about every disgusting thing that is part of our society? I guess it’s good to know that such a thing exists, on one hand, and that I can avoid it by buying my ground beef at Whole Foods or Costco. On the other hand, apparently this has been going on for a long time, and it hasn’t killed me, so maybe blissful ignorance isn’t so bad (the Stop & Shop hamburger in my freezer is going to be reserved for the dog—Max isn’t on Twitter or Facebook so he’ll be cool with the pink slime).
As a PR pro, I can see this is a crisis communications dream opportunity. If I represented a pink slime-less retailer, I’d be all over this, I admit it. But as a consumer, I am horrified. It’s not quite as bad as yelling fire in a crowded theater, but, hey, we are Americans, and what is more American than a good old-fashioned hamburger? Now we have to second guess those burgers. Is this fodder for the campaign trail? Maybe I will reserve my vote for the presidential contender that vows to abolish pink slime. Maybe peace treaties can be forged over countries’ common beliefs about pink slime.
OK, that’s a bit ridiculous, and I know I’m getting carried away with pink slime. So I will be more selective about my shopping, watch with professional interest to see how the PR shakes out on this, and eat more fish.
Although a chef friend of mine once opened my eyes to the fact that a lot of the fish sold for consumption has tiny worms inside, which turned me off fish for awhile, until I let myself forget about it and move on.
Next blog post will be pink-slime-free. I promise.