Denver, Colorado

VICORP: Working in Lockstep on a Very Sensitive Announcement

When VICORP Restaurants Inc., owners of Village Inn and Bakers Square restaurants, made the decision in 2008 to enter into Chapter 11 bankruptcy, they needed a PR partner with the experience, judgment and discretion to help them plan an extremely sensitive announcement and manage the multiple issues that unfolded in the months to follow. They called the team at GFM Responds, the communications and issues management practice of GroundFloor Media.

Working in lockstep with the leadership team at VICORP, the seasoned PR advisors of GFM Responds conducted several closed-door sessions with VICORP executives to determine the most strategic ways to communicate with key internal and external audiences like employees, franchisees, vendors, landlords and the media. As the date of the filing approached, the GFM Responds team conducted meetings and conference calls with VICORP’s CEO, management team, legal advisory team and board of directors to learn more about the business objectives and strategic planning surrounding the approaching event.

On the day of the bankruptcy filing, GFM Responds worked onsite at corporate headquarters, attended key staff meetings, participated in internal field calls, and handled all media inquiries and media interviews with the company’s executives. Through real-time media monitoring, GFM was also able to stay on top of the story and provide key messages and additional facts to remedy potentially negative coverage, and we continued to do so for months afterward. VICORP’s leadership team was extremely pleased with the resulting coverage of a very complex situation.

For our work on this complicated issue, GFM was awarded the Silver Pick Award for crisis communication from the Colorado Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.