Snow as a Diversionary PR Tactic

Everyone in my hometown of Richmond, Va., is buzzing about the sale of Ukrop’s Super Markets, Inc. — a local, family owned business — to the U.S. unit of Denmark’s Royal Ahold NV.

Meanwhile, we here in Richmond are awaiting the arrival of a winter storm that might dump 10 inches of snow on us.

Given Richmonders’ propensity for rushing Ukrop’s to stock up on milk and bread at the very mention of a snow flurry, I’m wondering if Ukrop’s public relations consultants — who are friends and professional colleagues of mine — didn’t orchestrate this snowstorm to cast Ukrop’s in a more positive light.

Hey, it could happen. The Ukrop brothers have a lot of pull in this town.


2 Responses

  1. Sad day for Richmond. Bobby Ukrop gave a presentation on ethics at PRSA Blue Ridge (Roanoke) a few years ago. I was impressed by the company philosophy and the way they took care of their customers. One thing he said that I clearly remember was about not growing too fast so you can remain true to your vision and principles. I guess the world has changed in the past couple of years.

    As for the snow, I am a conspiracy theorist. The worse the news makes it sound, the more closely people need to watch the news. That way they sell more soap. They just showed the local Walmart on the 5 p.m. broadcast. People are waiting in line to get in the parking lot. Not me.

  2. All grocery chains should be so lucky to have the kind of brand loyalty displayed by Ukrop’s customers, Ray. The company has its detractors, but overall it has a strong brand that has been built on years of customer service and traditional values.

    But waiting in line to get into Wal Mart? That’s like waiting in line to get a colon cleansing.

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