2018 has been a year of controversy, but one of the more public events centered around one of the largest pizza chains in the country. Despite the bad press, Papa John’s new CEO Steve Ritchie has handled himself as well as can be expected. He seems to be setting the company on a new path in the coming months, and has managed to do an okay job in the public relations sphere communicating that.
Steve Ritchie began his new public relations campaign by first posting an open letter on the Papa John’s website. This letter was certainly lacking overall, and initially did not help Ritchie. This first letter lacked empathy and somehow lacked a clear outright apology for previous events that occurred.
Credit should be given to Steve Ritchie however, as either through his own self-awareness or that of his staff, he published another apology letter that was sent out and had a little bit more meaning to it. This updated letter was sent to the Papa John’s mailing list so that Ritchie’s sentiment could be more prominent and emphasize the sincerity of its meaning.
The new letter finally does portray a level of empathy which the original was lacking in. Furthermore, Steve Ritchie gives forth an outright apology. This comes across as sincere and speaks directly to anyone affected by the events in question. The thing that would seem to help Ritchie the most is him outlining steps to be taken by the company going forward. Laying out that he will be bringing in consultants to assist with company culture as well as higher level management engaging in person with their employees at a store level. He also emphasizes transparency about what is going on and a call for customers to hold them accountable, and that although this will be a slow process, Papa John’s will rebuild trust in the consumer base.