How McDonald’s Cut Ties With Russia Using Its Core Values and Mission

As public relations students, we learn that our words matter. Mission statements are more than just words, and if organizations don’t uphold their core values with relevant actions, it can cause broken trust with the public. Companies cutting ties with Russia is a perfect example. Let’s look at how McDonald’s upholds its mission and values after deciding to temporarily close nearly 850 locations in Russia.

In a statement announcing this decision, McDonald’s said, “In Russia, we employ 62,000 people who have poured their heart and soul into our McDonald’s brand to serve their communities. We work with hundreds of local Russian suppliers and partners who produce the food for our menu and support our brand. And we serve millions of Russian customers each day who count on McDonald’s. In the thirty-plus years that McDonald’s has operated in Russia, we’ve become an essential part of the 850 communities in which we operate.”

Despite store closures, McDonald’s will continue to pay its Russian and Ukrainian employees. This aligns with the mission McDonald’s outlines on its website. McDonald’s aims to create a brand that its community can trust with five core values: serve, inclusion, integrity, community, and family. Under these values, the phrase “actions are bigger than words” is bolded.
This decision by McDonald’s is an ideal example of how to handle pressure from the public during a crisis, all the while maintaining company core values. McDonald’s relays the importance of the communities built in Russia through its locations but acknowledges that Ukrainians suffering at the hands of Russia is unacceptable. McDonald’s may never be able to open its Russian locations again, but they don’t leave Russian employees behind.

Actions are bigger than words. As public relations students, we should continue to follow how McDonald’s handles its operations in Russia. We can learn from the fast-food chain that maintaining company values during a crisis can be done through strategic actions that make a difference.

Angela Tessitore, Account Executive


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