taco_bell_kmHow do you prepare today for the crisis of tomorrow? Your best bet is a preventative crisis management plan that effectively stops the crisis before it starts – read on to see how Taco Bell accomplished just that.

Taco Bell has now emerged as a fast-food pioneer after recently announcing plans to eliminate kids meals from its menu altogether by January 2014. While some naysayers may believe that this is a terrible move on Taco Bell’s part, I completely beg to differ – rather than creating an intense brand crisis, Taco Bell is doing the best thing a company could do: preventing a crisis from occurring by eliminating the inciting factors altogether.

Taco Bell’s decision unsurprisingly comes at a time fast-food restaurants are under increasing pressure by parents, health advocates and lawmakers to improve the nutrition of meals they serve to children and to stop enticing children with character toys from films. Instead of taking on the project of overhauling its menu, Taco Bell has removed the source of the argument completely, leaving no room for discord from any party. Taco Bell has done well to recognize that its brand does not target kids; in fact, the company has not advertised for over 12 years on TV or in social media (1).

JoTo Verdict: This is THE way to handle crisis management and avert/mitigate damage before it happens. It also is THE way to come out as the industry leader.  It takes a strong strategy and company to make these decisions as it is all too easy to follow the leader and continue along a status quo when actually it is not for the good of the public a company serves.  True Crisis Management PR is about prevention and understanding one’s target markets.

Every company is vulnerable to crises – the key to surviving them is by being prepared for what could happen. Remember, no one ever regretted planning ahead!