American Flatbread: Turning a Devastating Crisis Into an Branding Opportunity​

fire crisis management

American Flatbread Pizza, a premier New England-based food manufacturer, originally hired Rosica for its PR and cause marketing strategies and expertise. Soon after we began our work, the company’s New Hampshire manufacturing facility burned to the ground in the middle of the night.

That same night, CEO Brad Sterl asked Rosica Communications to pivot and assist with crisis communications. Through earned media and well-drafted communiques, we developed and communicated the brand’s narrative to employees, the community, elected officials, customers, distributors, and other stakeholders regarding the corporation’s commitment to rebuilding and supporting all of their needs.

We created messaging for various stakeholder groups and conducted a news conference to announce Sterl’s vision and goal of creating a temporary production facility within 30 days and keeping all staff employed through the rebuilding process. He achieved this goal, and Rosica successfully told the story about the company’s triumph locally and nationally.

As production came up to speed, we shifted gears to a consumer and cause marketing push. We quickly partnered the brand with Boys & Girls Clubs, executing a media event at a Club in Hartford, CT, where we created a mini farmer’s market to teach underserved kids about good nutrition. Prior to the event, more than two thirds of these at-risk youth hadn’t seen nor tasted asparagus. With the company’s mobile pizza oven, in the Boys & Girls Club parking lot, we made pizza for more than 150 youth and all attending media.

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