Crock-Pot’s Response to Its Tragic Role in ‘This Is Us’ Is a Lesson in Smart PR

I’m a big fan of NBC’s This Is Us, my slow cooker, and good PR. And, wow, how they’ve all melded together since last Tuesday night, when the family drama revealed just how beloved husband and father Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia) dies.

Since the hit show first aired in fall 2016, fans have known that Jack dies before his three kids graduate high school. But it wasn’t until the last episode that they found out exactly how. Turns out that on the night of the Super Bowl, a slow cooker–one that resembles my mom’s 1970s Crock-Pot–sparks a fire that burns down the family’s Pittsburgh home, killing Jack.


Thousands of the show’s fans immediately took to Twitter to express their sorrow and their intentions to throw out their Crock-Pots. How Crock-Pot responded is one for the PR playbook. Here are four PR lessons to take away from Crock-Pot’s response to the tragic TV reveal.

1. Speed is key in a PR crisis.
2. Lead with empathy.
3. Follow up quickly with the facts.
4. Every company needs a crisis PR plan.