KFC gets creative with internal comms

LOUISVILLE, KY: KFC has created the position of Chief Chicken Officer for the launch of its new cook certification program, intended to help maintain food quality.

LOUISVILLE, KY: KFC has created the position of Chief Chicken Officer for the launch of its new cook certification program, intended to help maintain food quality.

Aaron Person, a long-time KFC cook from Orlando, Fl., was appointed the CCO and will serve as the spokesman for an internal communications campaign based on quality service and food preparation at the chain's thousands of restaurant locations. The role is focused on delivering a consistent message throughout the KFC brand.

“Ultimately, our goal is to ensure all KFC restaurants across the country maintain high standards for food preparation and service. Aaron is an outstanding role model for KFC cooks across the country,” Rick Maynard, PR manager at KFC, said.

KFC also hopes the campaign will highlight its unique food preparation methods and the fact that there is a trained cook in every KFC location.

“This program emphasizes a point of differentiation between KFC and most fast food restaurants,” Maynard explained. “We have fresh chicken delivered to our restaurants throughout the week and we have trained cooks hand breading it and preparing it throughout the day — the same way Colonel Sanders did.”

The CCO will be featured in a series of training videos that highlight the practices that have made his own restaurant a success. Person, who has cooked for KFC for 25 years, was selected from a pool of 5,000 nominees.

Weber Shandwick, KFC's AOR, provided support and planning for the campaign, mainly by helping vet cooks nominated for the CCO position and making recommendations to the client from a marketing standpoint.

“Overall, we thought, ‘Who would best benefit the brand?'” said David Shein, VP of the consumer practice at Weber Shandwick in Chicago. “It builds morale within the company, the fact that KFC went internally to find someone who's been dedicated to the company for so long. And they're engaging him.”

The CCO will be traveling, shooting videos, and possibly featured in an advertising campaign in the future.

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