3 PR lessons from Blue Bell’s massive ice cream recall

The ice cream company was damaged by its recall crisis, but it also had tons of support from die-hard fans. Here’s why.

Ragan Insider Content

The mercury is rising, and Texas is heading into summer without its brand of ice cream. No, we won’t get Ben and Jerry’s. That’s not our brand. Our brand is Blue Bell, and we don’t have any, thanks to an outbreak of Listeria.

Not to be flip about the seriousness of the situation. Many people fell seriously, some fatally, ill with the strong strain of foodborne bacteria.

How in the world do this many people care so much about a brand that made people sick? Why does Blue Bell enjoy such brand loyalty even though they’ve had issues with this exact problem since 2013?

Every time a large company experiences a public crisis, it has an opportunity to make it right or make a complete mess of the situation. Time will tell what happens to Texas’ favorite maker of ice cream and memories, but one thing’s for sure: We can learn a whole lot about PR from what has happened. Here are three PR lessons we’ve gleaned from Blue Bell’s national recall.

1. Do It yourself.

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