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McDonalds Essay Ioana Ruxandra Mindruta Southampton Solent University


With operations in 117 countries, McDonalds, world‟s largest chain of fast food restaurants, is one of the most powerful and geographically diversified companies (see screenshot 1.0), serving around 64 million customers daily. Headquartered in the United States, the company began in 1940 as a barbecue restaurant and managed to become, in 2011, a symbol of globalization and the fast-moving society. (www.warc.com)

Screenshot 1.0 McDonald‟s system-wide outlets (www.warc.com) 23.11.2011

As this essay‟s research question is “Does the way McDonalds communicates its community relations activities to other stakeholders strengthen its corporate reputation with these audiences?” there will be an emphasis on communication channels used by McDonalds, their strengths and weaknesses, stakeholder profiles, all of them analysed from a community relations

perspective. To begin with, according to Tench and

Yeomans (2006), stakeholders „are those who have an interest in a specific company‟. Some examples of groups of people who have a stake in McDonalds Corporation include: customers, financial investors, employees, suppliers, nutritionists, publics, community, the Government, media, etc. This classification is quite flexible, as in some occasions, media can be seen just as a tool used to communicate news and information to other stakeholder groups; furthermore, McDonalds‟ customers can become publics


once they acknowledge the importance of a healthy diet and lifestyle, decide to take action and campaign for more healthy menus. So, considering the fact that this essay will focus on Community Relations, it is important to outline a few characteristics related to the term and its origins. Since the late nineteenth century, „the use of the term community has remained to some extent associated with the hope and the wish of reviving once more the closer, warmer, more harmonious type of bonds between people ‟ (Hoggett, 1997). In other words, „community plays a crucial symbolic role in generating people‟s sense of belonging‟ (Crow and Allan, 1994). Those two theoretical views stress the idea of a united group of people, with common interests and goals, bringing together a number of elements such as solidarity, trust, commitment or mutuality. As Tench and Yeomans (2006) emphasise, „stakeholders having a lot of power and also being interested in the company, are key players, essential to the welfare of the corporation‟. This is the reason why, maintaining permanent communication with them, and building trustworthy relationships is crucial in order to succeed as a worldwide popular brand. From a Community Relations point of view, information about charities, environmental issues, CSR, sponsorships, waste or packaging are relevant to all groups of stakeholders and latest news and developments are being communicated by McDonalds through a variety of tools. The main channels of communication that McDonalds uses are adapted to each stakeholder group‟s needs and they are also very modern. Some examples in this case could be: McDonald‟s website in United Kingdom, www.mcdonalds.co.uk and its official corporate website, www.aboutmcdonalds.com, The Annual Report, Social Media (Facebook and Twitter accounts), flyers and brochures, newsletters, presentations, press releases, articles, etc. Regarding community issues, it is vital to identify the degree of interest that each group of stakeholders has in the matter. It is clearly understood that customers, the community itself, nutritionists and sometimes media are usually concerned about the wellbeing and health of the society; while suppliers or shareholders have a predominant interest in monetary issues. This is why, when communicating community information, McDonalds focuses more on some particular groups, than others, using specific channels of communication.


The main strengths of corporate communications are closely linked to the fact that McDonalds is considered a global brand, one of the most famous and loved companies in the world in any industry. Its strong brand image and reputation allows it to have at its disposal various means of communication to its stakeholders. As this is not enough, due to its popularity, the messages about charities, environmental issues or latest developments in recycling reach large audiences, who can become aware of the latest changes, adapt their behaviour, ideas and thoughts, and contribute to McDonald‟s stability and wealth. Also, another strength is that, due to its popularity, McDonalds does not have to work as hard as other less known companies to raise awareness of its latest news or updates, because just the simple display of the logo, or by mentioning the name of the company, online buzz is automatically created and their messages reach people from all over the world. On the other hand, when exploring weaknesses, McDonalds has faced several trials, public accusations, negative publicity, and several campaigns were organised against them. This must have had a negative impact on their stakeholders and maybe, some of them, have lost or increased the confidence they had in the information provided by McDonalds and their initiatives. In some occasions, the corporation showed poor marketing

effort

and

connection

http://ivythesis.typepad.com,

several

with

its

local

advertisements

customers. and

According

promotions

used

to by

McDonalds were considered offensive and inappropriate. For example, „In China, the company launched a television commercial that shows a Chinese man kneeling and begging for a discount from an electronics salesman who refuses due to the fact that his coupon has expired. The purpose of the advertisement was to show that people do not have to be in order to take advantage of the company‟s promotion, but this was interpreted in a total different way, and many voices said that it actually portrayed that Chinese people lack in dignity.‟ Globalization, expansion in other countries is considered as one of the most important opportunities for McDonalds. The company still needs furthermore penetration in different parts of the world, specifically Asia, Europe as well as Latin America (http://ivythesis.typepad.com). In addition, diversification and acquisition of other quickservice restaurants is another opportunity that could benefit McDonalds.


One of the main threats that affect McDonalds is the economic slowdown of some countries and the financial crisis which had a negative impact on all the stakeholder groups. Furthermore, competitors are always a threat, as they offer similar services. This fact forced McDonalds improve their communication with their customers through the products they buy. A Nutrition Information Initiative was developed, in order to inform customers about the proportion of calories, proteins, fats, or carbohydrates that exists in the food they purchase. Regarding social media, on the main Facebook page, which is extremely popular (11,897,920 likes), McDonalds uses the application „Events‟ to communicate with its stakeholders, particularly customers and active publics, regarding its charities. In this case, a public event entitled „Give a hand®‟ aims to help children and families in need by persuading people to buy a cut-out of a hand from their local McDonalds for just £1. Furthermore, the company has a special Facebook page dedicated to charities, “Ronald McDonald House Charities”(RMHC), aimed to all stakeholders, from where, all the users and visitors can get the information they need concerning charities, they can view pictures, donate to RMHC, play games and get the updates about the latest events. McDonalds uses Twitter to interact with its followers (196,107), to inform investors and other groups of interested stakeholders about the release of the Annual Sustainability Report, to set up competitions, or again, similarly to Facebook, to attract public notice concerning the RMHC, which has 10,668 followers. Social media represents a strength regarding McDonalds corporate communications and it brings a significant contribution to its reputation among all audiences, as the brand usually appeals to young individuals, who use Facebook and Twitter on a daily basis. As evidence for this statement can serve statistics, which say that there are approximately 175 million users on Twitter and that

Facebook

has

more

than

600

million

monthly

active

users

(www.articles.businessinsider.com). Moreover, McDonalds focuses, in the process of communication, on two different models: Public information and two-way symmetric PR. Regarding the first mentioned model, its purpose is to disseminate information and truth is essential. Grunig & Dozier (1995) emphasise that :‟traditional communication procedures favour one-way tools, allowing corporations to send messages to publics through brochures, news releases, press conferences and, more recently, electronic mail and video “magazines” „. In


McDonald‟s case, public information works through brochures, flyers, annual reports or advertisements, means of communication that allow only one-way communication, coming from McDonalds. From another perspective, two-way symmetric PR, according to Grunig & Dozier (1995), „is professional because it is based on a body of knowledge and a set of techniques used to manage conflicts and build relationships with publics‟. Especially through social media, McDonalds can provide information, but at the same time, it can receive feedback and suggestions of improvement from customers and stakeholder groups, in a really straightforward and efficient way. On the official UK website, www.mcdonalds.co.uk, there are dedicated sections for environment, charities or careers. Concerning the environment, information about litter, waste, energy or packaging is provided and aims to reach suppliers, who work closely with McDonalds to develop and improve products and production techniques. According to www.warc.com, the most important suppliers are Simplot, a potato producer, and Keystone Foods, the boneless chicken nugget-inventor, among other countless suppliers all over the world. McDonalds plays an important role in the community as it offers jobs for the people living locally. Their official global corporate website, www.aboutmcdonalds.com, seems to be designed especially for all groups of stakeholders, fact that helps them build lasting relationships, based on communication and trust. The website facilitates the process of communication with investors and suppliers by offering the possibility to download Annual or Corporate Responsibility reports (see screenshot 1.1) or by viewing the latest News Nuggets related to financial data (see screenshot 1.2).

Screenshot 1.1. McDonald‟s Corporate Responsibility Report (www.aboutmcdonalds.com) 01.10.2011


Screenshot 1.2. McDonaldâ€&#x;s News Nuggets (www.aboutmcdonalds.com) 01.10.2011

In addition, they use their website as a tool in order to communicate with their potential future employees, making available all the details about work experience, internships, work trials or head office positions. McDonalds talks about the benefits of being their employee, the trainings they provide and future career opportunities. Due to the diversity of people that can reach their websites, which are clearly organised and highly accessible, www.mcdonalds.co.uk or www.aboutmcdonalds.com are effective means of communication with a whole range of audiences, and this brings a massive contribution to McDonaldâ€&#x;s corporate reputation. By providing updated, well-structured and adequate information for all stakeholders, McDonalds builds even further long-lasting and strong relationships. Two other channels of communication, flyers and brochures, are the most appropriate when reaching the community, as people of different ages, jobs or preoccupations are part of it, and not all of them have access to the internet. The flyer below (screenshot 1.3) shows the approach that McDonalds takes when using written communication.


They provide details about RMHC and they encourage people to take part in one of their events, which was organised to raise funds for a seven month old baby suffering from coarctation. So, fliers and brochures are another effective way that McDonalds uses in order to inform about its community activities, by aiming to reach the actual community when utilising this tool. When exploring the 2010 Annual Report, there are not mentioned any facts about McDonald‟s community activities; on the contrary, the document illustrates plenty of financial information( see screenshot 1.4), relevant for investors or shareholders, who at the end of the day, only care about their shares and dividends. Community concerns, such as environmental issues or donations, are not exactly in their area of interest; however, they will make an effort to look as “good corporate citizens” and maybe, from time to time, give up some money for charities, while thinking, at the same time, about opening new stores and increasing their profits.

Screenshot 1.4. McDonald‟s Annual Report (10.12.2011)


As far as communication through press releases is concerned, McDonalds publishes all of them on www.aboutmcdonalds.com, and many of their topics are related to community. A few examples in this case could be: commitment to offer improved nutrition choices, disaster relief efforts in Japan, the opening of World‟s 300 th Ronald McDonald House, etc. These are especially designed for the media, but their real target audiences are the other groups of stakeholders, who use newspapers or television for staying updated and informed. This channel of communication strengthens McDonald‟s corporate reputation with its audiences. Why? Because all the press releases are being sent to highly popular newspapers, such as The Telegraph, The Guardian, Daily Mail, The Independent, etc. As all these publications are deeply trusted by the public, the fact that McDonalds publishes its latest news in them certainly has a positive influence on its corporate reputation. Another essential fact to mention is that McDonalds is one of the major sponsors of the 2012 Olympics. Due to their initiative, they have faced massive criticism. According to www.uk.reuters.com, the British Medical Association argues that:”Given many countries in the developed world, and some in the developing world, are facing a major problem with obesity, it is unfortunate that McDonalds are major sponsors at the 2012 London Olympics". On the contrary, one of McDonald‟s spokeswomen replied: “"There is no doubt that McDonald's food can fit into a balanced, active lifestyle and we offer a range of choices on our menu, as well as nutritional information on our trayliners, website and on packaging, to help our customers make an informed choice”. McDonalds try to emphasise on their latest developments and improvements, but the core idea remains the same: the food they provide is unhealthy and the brand contributes to the fact that “almost a quarter of children in the UK are already overweight or obese by the time they start primary school, and more than a third are overweight or obese by the time they leave to start secondary school” (www.hackneycitizen.co.uk).

In their attempt to make a key move into education, McDonalds introduced its own degree course in business management, accredited by Manchester Metropolitan University, and, according to Senior vice-president David Fairhurst, it “challenges snobbish misconceptions about McDonald‟s staff” (www.bbc.co.uk). The famous corporation wants to prove how seriously the company takes the training of its staff,


and, on this occasion, communicates this important message to its stakeholder groups by actually doing something outstanding, not only transmitting information. Another purpose

of

this

initiative

was

“to

challenge

the

old

McJob

label”

(www.newsfeed.time.com), as the term named a low-paying, dead-end job that requires few skills. McDonalds wanted to demonstrate that its staff is highly qualified, educated and capable of any achievement and that working for this corporation is actually a reason of pride and personal satisfaction. One major recommendation that would strengthen McDonald‟s corporate reputation with its stakeholders would be to include a new section on the website (www.mcdonalds.co.uk) where the public relations team should respond to many of the accusations that McDonalds is facing in media and all over the internet (The McDonald‟s “French fry” lawsuit, McLibel, McDonald‟s food not decomposing, unhealthy food, obesity issues or foreign objects found in their meals). This would certainly have a positive impact on its reputation and people might begin to trust the brand more. Lack of reaction when being defamed or criticised is often perceived as a prove of guilt, so replying to newspapers‟ articles or discussions in the media, is a good strategy for defending one‟s corporate image. In addition, it is a professional manner of strengthening relationships between the groups of stakeholders. A good example in this case, which proved to be successful, is BP, which, after the oil spill disaster in Mexico, included a new tab on their website (www.bp.com), called “Golf of Mexico restoration” (see screenshot 1.5), where they explain their part of the story, and this helps rebuilt the image of the brand.

Screenshot 1.5. Gulf of Mexico restoration (www.bp.com) 15.12.2011


Regarding McDonald‟s CSR, all the aspects related it are mentioned and explored in the McDonald’s Corporation Worldwide Corporate Social Responsibility 2010 Report, aimed at all categories of stakeholders. Topics such as Nutrition and Well-Being, Sustainability, Environmental Responsibility, Employee Experience or Community are thoroughly analysed. Due to these key points of interest, the report targets especially suppliers, community, nutritionists, environmentalists and employees. This means of communication strengthens McDonald‟s reputation, and it is clearly proved by the fact that all the necessary information is gathered in one well-organised report, which is highly accessible to any individual on McDonald‟s website, www.aboutmcdonalds.com. To

conclude,

McDonalds

communicates

its

activities

related

to

community

(environmental issues, charities, sponsorships, jobs, etc) mainly to stakeholder groups such as: customers, media, employees, environmentalists or nutritionists, suppliers, and so on. In most of the cases, via communication tools such as social media, websites, flyers/brochures, the CSR report, McDonalds manages to strengthen its corporate reputation among all audiences, by keeping them updated and by building strong, longlasting relationships with its stakeholders. It is also imperative to outline the suggestion of improvement developed in this essay: McDonalds should offer a more transparent approach towards all the accusations they face every day in the media by actually replying on their website to: videos, news or articles aimed to criticise the brand and that might affect McDonald‟s corporate image.


References Books Crow, G. and Allan, G. (1994) Community Life. An introduction to local social relations, Hemel Hempstead: Harvester Wheatsheaf Grunig, E. and Dozier, D. (1995) Manager’s Guide to Excellence in Public Relations and Communication Management, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Hoggett, P. (ed.) (1997) Contested Communities: experiences, struggles, policies, Bristol: Policy Press ISBN Tench, R. and L. Yeomans (2006) Exploring Public Relations, Essex: Pearson Education

Websites Anonymous, 2009, Strategic Business Analysis: McDonalds [online], [10.12.2011], available

from:

http://ivythesis.typepad.com/term_paper_topics/2009/02/mcdonalds-

strategic-business-analysis.html Anonymous, 2011, McDonald’s corporation in consumer foodservice [online], [10.12.2011], available from: www.warc.com Anonymous,

2011,

SLO

e-Flyers

[online],

[10.12.2011],

available

from:

http://slochamber.org/cm/E-Flyers/SLO%20Flyers%20April%202008.html AO, 2011, McDonald’s super-size Olympics plan upsets health groups [online], [14.12.2011], available from: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/07/21/uk-mcdonaldsolympics-idUKTRE76K42F20110721 BP, 2011, Gulf of Mexico restoration [online], [15.12.2011], available from: http://www.bp.com/sectionbodycopy.do?categoryId=41&contentId=7067505 HJ, 2010, U.K University to offer McDonald’s degree [online], [14.12.2011], available from: http://newsfeed.time.com/2010/11/27/u-k-university-to-offer-mcdonalds-degree/


JE, 2011, Giant McDonalds at Olympics will hit child health [online], [14.12.2011], available from: http://hackneycitizen.co.uk/2011/07/24/mcdonalds-olympics-child-healthhackney-mp-diane-abbott/ McDonalds, 2011, Ronald McDonald House Charities [online], [18.12.2011], available from: http://www.mcdonalds.co.uk/ourworld/rmhc/rmhc.shtml McDonalds, 2011, McDonald’s press releases [online], [18.12.2011], available from: http://www.aboutmcdonalds.com/mcd/newsroom/press_releases.html NC, 2011, How many users does Twitter really have? [online], [19.12.2011], available from: http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-03-31/tech/30049251_1_twitter-accountsactive-twitter-user-simple-answer SC, 2010, McDonald’s to launch own degree [online], [14.12.2011], available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-11810930

Other Sources McDonald‟s 2010 Annual Report McDonald‟s 2010 Worldwide Corporate Social Responsibility Report


APPENDIX


Appendix 1 ‘All publicity is good publicity’ To start with, Publicity is by definition, information that concerns a person, group, event, or product and that is disseminated through various media to attract public notice. The emphasis, therefore, of this definition is on “attracting public notice.” After all, if nobody knows you are there, how can you expect them to buy from you? Publicity consists of articles in the media including newspapers, radio and TV, forums and social media or blogs. In the case of most companies and brands, the answer to the question “is all publicity good publicity” would be a resounding no. Too much publicity about foreign objects found in burgers, faulty engines causing emergency landings and unrealistic fee increases would certainly have a negative impact on a company‟s reputation. The statement that “All publicity is good publicity” can only be relevant for small shops or new businesses, according to Alan Sorensen, an economics professor at Stanford. When talking about largely known companies, such as McDonalds, bad publicity can only have a negative effect. At the moment, McDonalds is famous all over the world and people are aware of it (research shows that even a two-year child recognises the McDonalds logo). This is the reason why negative publicity can do no good, but only lower the number of customers and damage McDonalds reputation. Patrick Barwise, a professor at London Business School claims that negative publicity may generate a buzz and increase short-term sales, but overall, it will damage the brand by actually increasing the problem they are currently facing. Empirical studies found that negative information is capable of affecting consumers' beliefs and attitudes. In fact, it has been shown that a single item of negative


information is capable of neutralizing five similar pieces of positive information (Richey and Fortin 1975). As the organisation I represent is McDonalds, I chose a case study which proves that not all publicity is good publicity. The so-called "McLibel trial" was a British court case involving libel, with important implications for public relations professionals and company management. McDonald's Corporation sued two unemployed environmental activists, Helen Steel and David Morris, for defamation. Why is that? Because they had been distributing a brochure entitled “What‟s wrong with McDonalds?” and they were accusing the company of: 

Selling addictive junk food

Exploiting children with its advertising

Altering its food with artificial chemistry

Perhaps the most negative impact on the company was caused by the fact that McDonald's: 

Employed highly paid lawyers to fight their case, when the campaigners represented themselves

Broke the record for the longest libel trial in English legal history (three hundred fourteen days) As expected, the McLibel trial was all over the media... newspapers, television, radio; even a documentary film, McLibel, was made about the case by Franny Armstrong. Due to all this publicity, this trial was a public relations disaster for McDonald's. The judge finally agreed with several of the arguments presented by the two campaigners, but Steel and Morris had failed to prove all their points and so the court ruled that they had indeed libelled McDonald's. The judge awarded damages of sixty thousands pounds. This case harmed the image of McDonalds and tied up management resources for years. Its executives were made to look foolish and the case also cost the company


many millions of dollars. In addition, all this negative publicity lead to a decrease in their sales, which clearly proves that not all publicity is good publicity.

Appendix 2 ‘You don’t always have to tell the truth to the press’ In McDonald‟s case, this statement is right, so inside the debate all the arguments would have been in favour of the affirmation. Telling a piece of information to the press is basically sending updates and news to all your stakeholders. So, by lying to the press, you actually mislead all the groups of people that have a stake in the organisation. In the last year, McDonalds has tried to modify its menus by introducing healthier alternatives such as salads, wraps and displaying the calories contain of each type of food served. But there are still a lot of things that the corporation does not reveal or communicate to the press. Due to the fact that they are still one of the top worldwide companies and people continue purchasing their products, it is quite clear that not telling the “real truth” about their food, does not affect the opinion that their customers have about them. For example, one year ago, there was a video which become quite popular on social media that showed how McDonald‟s burgers or French fries do not decompose, not even after a year. Various sources claimed that McDonald‟s only produces chemical food with no nutrition benefits. Mc Donald‟s never talked about the issue, and continues to emphasise on the quality of their products, despite the fact that even people who buy their food are aware that it is not the best choice for a healthy meal. According to www.24sevenpost.com, even though McDonalds claim that their fries contain a natural flavour, we all know that, today “natural” can mean just about anything. A substance can be natural but it may violate a religious or dietary restriction or it may cause allergic reactions.


It has been also talked about a hidden ingredient that McDonald‟s might be using, called excitotoxin, which over-stimulate brain cells to the point until they day. Lots of people experience headaches when this occurs. This is a serious issue that could dramatically affect even the lives of unborn children, as the excitotoxin can pass even the placental barrier. In addition, research shows that you would have to walk 7 hours straight to burn off a Super Sized Coke, fries and Big Mac. On the other hand, McDonald‟s seems to be the perfect solution if you want to put on some weight. These are aspects that the company never talks about, and when they do, they try to spin or frame the story, mentioning just the aspects that put them in a favourable light. To conclude, McDonald‟s does not always tell the truth to the press and this seems to be working for them, as their profits are going up and they are considering extending to parts of Asia, Latin America and Europe.


Appendix 3 ‘What the public thinks does not always matter’ Davis (2004:59) claims that “publics have an importance attached to them because of their specific interest and power, current and potential”, while Grunig and Repper (1992:125) say that : “Many people in a category of stakeholders-such as employees or residents of a community- are passive. The stakeholders who are or become more aware and active can be described as publics”. If asked officially, McDonald‟s will always answer that what the public thinks always matters, as they want to show respect to their stakeholders. In real life, McDonald‟s is aware that a lot of people have a negative perception of them, but they do not bother as long as people continue to buy from them. McDonald‟s has always been a controversial brand, which had to face a lot of negative publicity and a lot of campaigners protested against them. However, they managed to recover and maintain a top position, which clearly proves that even if the publics has a predominantly unfavourable image of McDonald‟s, this does not affect them in a direct way. According to www.makaje.wordpress.com, as McDonald‟s is a large company, they have many Key Publics. However, three key publics have been identified: families with kids, employees of McDonald‟s and Health Communities. For example, families with children know that there are other healthier alternatives, yet they choose McDonald‟s due to prices, the friendly environment, the fact that all their restaurants are easy to get to and are often placed in central and highly populated areas. As www.makaje.wordpress.com explains, McDonald‟s has the opportunity to meet the demands of the public by showing the will to change and improve where customers pinpoint that change is essential. The emphasis is on the fact that public supporters of McDonald‟s will stay with them as long as they get the impression that McDonald‟s is trying to improve. McDonald‟s prosperity is also proved by winning “Best place to work” in different countries and being in the top 10 of “Most Admired Companies 2011”. This certainly


enhances McDonaldâ€&#x;s image as a work place and shows good reputation, which makes the employees happy and respected among family, friends and public. To conclude, for McDonaldâ€&#x;s, what the public thinks does not always matter. They are often criticised, blamed or argued about, but they manage to win prizes, keep their profits up and they continue to develop by adding healthier choices to their menus and trying to become more transparent; however, they mention only the side of the story that advantages them.


Appendix 4 ‘Shareholders are more important than customers’ Concerning this statement, McDonald‟s would be totally against. The company considers shareholders vital to their existence, as they are the ones who invested in the corporation and basically McDonald‟s belongs to them. As long as the company is making profit, they make money from the business, get a good dividend and increases in their shares‟ price, shareholders are satisfied and are not likely to invest somewhere else. Furthermore, customers are still more important, as they bring their money in by buying food. Without customers, McDonald‟s goes under and it is not able to stay on the market. So, why would shareholders be more important than customers, if without customers a company is not able to survive? No customers would mean no profit, no good dividends and no increases in shares‟ price. This is the reason why McDonald‟s values to a large extent its customers and tries to improve its services for them. Shareholders represent just the support for the whole business to start and develop. They can come and go, there will be always people willing to invest in McDonald‟s as long as the number of customers does not dramatically fall, so for the corporation is a better strategy to build a long term relationship based on trust with its customers, than focusing more on its relationships with shareholders, who, at the end of the day, only care about their personal incomes and profits. It is interesting to acknowledge the balance between the degree of importance, just by reflecting on the following question: “It is clear that a company can survive with only one major shareholder; but would it be able to make profit with only one customer?” This interrogative sentence, clearly differences the degree of importance between a shareholder and a customer, as the obvious answer is “no”. Companies need impressive numbers of customers, so in order to attract more of them, they should be aware of their increased importance and invest more time in figuring out ways to appeal the targeted audiences. According to www.managementtoday.co.uk, McDonald‟s has done a good job in reinventing itself over the last few years. With the stakeholders‟ support they managed to


modernise and update the stores and even extend the open hours. The company also cashed in well on trends like coffee and smoothies. All these facts lead to a boost in the European sales by 4%, and this is thanks to the customers, who bought their products and increased the overall profit. Overall, it should not be understood that McDonaldâ€&#x;s does not value its shareholders; the corporation acknowledges their importance: on the www.aboutmcdonalds.com, there is a special tab dedicated to shareholders, where then can find all the information that concerns them. The main point is that customers are those who keep the business going, and without their existence, dividends and share prices would not be able to increase.


Appendix 5


Appendix 6

Detailed Stakeholder Map


Competitors  Burger King  Wendy’s  Taco Bell  Sonic  Rally’s  Subway  Chili’s  Olive Garden  MOS Burger (Japan)  Bob’s (Brazil)  Herfy (Saudi Arabia)  Quick (France)  Goody’s (Greece)  Max (Sweden)  Jollibee (Philippines)  Lotteria (South Korea)  El Corral (Columbia)  Steers (South Africa)  Wimpy (South Africa)  Quick (Belgium)  Hesburger (Finland)


Suppliers  

Groupe Holder FSB Foods

Rainforest Alliance

Simplot

Keystone Food

Richard Hoskin (beef)

The Lakes Free-Range Eggs Company in Cumbria

17,500 British and Irish farmers providing: pork, oats, organic milk and potatoes,

Blogs/Bloggers 

http://mcchronicles.blogspot.com/ ,

http://www.citymama.com/,

http://www.blogher.com,

Key publics 

advertisers (Manchester News)

dieticians (Food Group of Australia)

Morgan Spurlock

Newspapers 

Daily Mail

The Guardian

Reuters

The Telegraph

BBC

The Independent

The Mirror


Social Media 

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

Flickr

Tumblr

Myspace

Customers 

Families

Students

Busy singles

People with a low income

Opponents 

PETA

Hellen Steel and David Morris (McLibel)

McDonald’s Workers’ Resistance

MacJoy

McDonaldland

Quality Inns International

Viz top tips (UK)

Stop McDonalds


McDonalds' Stakeholder Analysis