With more than 30,000 locations worldwide, a complex supply chain, and a very public brand, McDonald’s is making the cultural and strategic changes required to embrace social media. Steve Wilson, McDonald’s Senior Director of Global Web Communications, shares the inside story of McDonald’s embrace of blogging and lays out the strategic roadmap the company is following toward an open and on-going conversation with its markets.
McDonald’s has set-up internal blogs to communicate within the company. It was to get a feel for blogs, and how blogs can work with McDonald’s, and to share best practices across the world for McDonald’s. The best practices are driven by people.
McDonald’s had been looking at the community – very early in the process – and realized that it might be too early to look into the community. We are engaged in the conversation on the C-level of the day-to-day work, and give the senior leadership insight. We know that our workers are blogging about McDonalds. We know that our customers have been blogging about McDonalds – and from early on.
McDonald’s is a global company, and we have built a brand worldwide with an eye toward consistency, and we saw that other companies were blogging and getting involved in the conversation in the community. As a corporation, we have a detailed policy and guideline for communications. Blogging is, in many ways, no different ways that email, fax, phone on disbursing information. It’s a channel of communications. While the company is going to be uncomfortable opening up new forms of communications about the brand of McDonald’s, we developed a set of guidelines: understand that there are things that we blog about internally; if you blog/comment, identify yourself as a McDonald’s employee on outside blogs; employee blogs as McDonald employees – a point of view – on McDonalds tools, time, network – should follow the guidelines.
There are concerns – about someone internal saying negative, getting people to stick with the rules/guidelines – with McDonald’s blogging, but we engaged and have moved forward with the internal blog for sharing best practices from the community of McDonald’s employees.