Influencers to teach five McDonald's staffers about their dream careers

McDonald's wants to give employees the tools they need to succeed - even if it's in a field other than food service.

Bryshere Gray
Bryshere Gray

CHICAGO: McDonald’s understands and supports employees who don’t see a future career at the fast food joint. As part of its new Where You Want To Be campaign, celebrities will allow U.S. McDonald’s employees to shadow them for one day to help ready them for their future careers – which may or may not be at McDonald’s.

The campaign follows the chain’s July Workforce Preparedness Study that found the top industries McDonald’s restaurant employees aspire to be in include arts and entertainment, technology, entrepreneurship, healthcare, and food service.

Based on the results of that study, the company has partnered with five influencers in each of the aforementioned industries to show select employees what a career in their desired line of work looks like under the wings of an expert.

Influencers involved in the campaign include rapper and actor Bryshere Gray, aka Yazz the Greatest, and dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon Dr. Meena Singh.

Employees who see a future at the restaurant chain will get the opportunity to tap into the company’s community of McDonald’s owners and operators.

To be eligible for this opportunity, McDonald’s restaurant employees must submit a short video through internal channels describing how McDonald’s is helping them learn skills now that they can apply in their future careers. Once they are selected through an application process, staffers will be paired with successful influencers in each field.

"We want everyone to aspire to be whatever they want to be," said Melissa Kersey, McDonald’s SVP and U.S. chief people officer.

McDonald’s is focusing on more than just retaining restaurant employees, Kersey explained.

"We believe that doing the right thing for our crew, no matter if they stay or go, will in turn help the communities we serve," she said.

The company began accepting applications last week, but Kersey could not share how many videos have been received thus far. Submissions are due by November 8, and five staffers in all will be selected. Job shadowing will take place in December and January.

The campaign ultimately aims to educate staffers on the tools provided by McDonald’s education and career advising program, Archways to Opportunity.

"More than 90% of our restaurants in the U.S. are owned and operated by our franchisees, so they are driving this campaign [internally]," Kersey said. "They are very excited, so we already have submissions."

Purple Strategies is helping with external comms for this campaign.

"We will bring [Purple Strategies and our internal comms team] together when we job shadow," Kersey said. "Internally, we are showing [videos] at big events. We have to get people really excited about this."

Budget information was not disclosed.

Earlier this year, McDonald’s reorganized its global PR agency roster, assigning its three main areas of storytelling — food, experience, and people — to Golin, WE Communications, and Purple Strategies, respectively.

Purple Strategies is working on McDonald’s "people story," focusing on the products and services the chain provides, and what it does to make the world a better place, Jano Cabrera, SVP of corporate relations at McDonald’s, told PRWeek in an interview earlier this year.

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