I recently received an email from Jen O’Donnell who works in public relations on a McDonald’s program called the Moms’ Quality Correspondents. According to the website, this is a group of "real moms" from all over the country who "have unprecidented access to the Mcdonalds' system" and who "ask the kinds of questions that you yourself want answered." They appear to be mainly focused on areas such as nutrition and wellness, with a healthy dose (pardon the pun) of articles about the Ronald McDonald House and charities.
O'Donnell tells me that "these Moms have met with nutritionists, suppliers and menu developers, learning about the food they feed their families from the inside out." She goes on to say that, as an example, the Quality Correspondents "toured a potato farm, processing facility and Research and Development Center to see first-hand McDonald's and its supplier’s joint commitment to food quality, safety, nutrition and sustainable farming practices."
Cynical readers (and there are a few) will no doubt look at this as a cog in the great propaganda machine. I have to say I appreciate the efforts of companies like McDonald's to view their customers as more than mere consumers. Disney recently made forays into this with a similar small group of "guests" who write travel tips and give other helpful advice. If it helps make fast food customers more savvy I say more power to McDonald's. Kudos!
If you would like to learn more - check out www.mcdonaldsmoms.com.