Domino’s Pizza Social Media Crisis Situation
Communication Case Analysis The Problem The facts that are connected to the problem find their routes in managing
communication crisis situations based on the social media. Due to an unpleasant incident in one of Domino’s branches, the managers were cough by surprise and found themselves unable to cope with it instantly and effectively. On Monday, April 13, 2009 two Domino’s Pizza employees posted a video on YouTube showing one of them committing health department violations, like sticking cheese in his nose, spiting in the pizza and other disgusting actions on products that were to be delivered to a customer. By the end of the day, the video was viewed nearly one million times on YouTube, on various blogs (The Consumerist) and on Twitter, sending the famous pizza chain into a social media crisis. The video was not instantly removed because Domino’s found out about its existence 24 hours later and YouTube needed a signed statement from one of the employees. Of course, the two employees were dismissed and sent to court for their actions, claiming it was just a prank. Two days later, Domino’s brought in local health department to the store in order to have everything inspected and all open containers discarded. Finally, in the evening of April 15, the HQ decided to response via a video posted on YouTube of Patrick Doyle, President of Domino’s Pizza USA, reassuring customers that it was a unique incident. They also created a Twitter account and encouraged its employees to twitter and regain its reputation, but the damage was already done. There are dozens of alternatives that Domino’s should have consider about, before and after the incident, so as to prevent, or eventually, manage with the communication crisis: Monitor social networks and blogs Social Networking mediums like Twitter, Facebook and the blogosphere could easily contribute to the success or to the failure of the company. They can be used in various ways, depending on the type of the organization. Researches show that 63 percent of companies
Communication Case Analysis
plan to increase their social networking marketing budgets and that social media advertising is expected to grow 17 percent in the next 5 years. In the case of Domino’s Pizza, that had a lack of social media presence at the time, things would be much different if they had established a small team that would continuously track the Internet for potential incidents or rumours relating to customer service, employee’s behaviour and any other comment that could ruin its reputation. So, it is hard to deny the power and the possibilities of social networking, especially when your company addresses to millions of customers every day. Develop policies to minimize crisis situations On the other hand, managers should develop such policies that would minimize the risk of future crisis situations. When Domino’s HR managers hired those two employees they had no idea of their potential actions. This is a common situation a lot of companies have to cope with. The policy that Domino’s follows so as to hire an employee is limited in a tenminute interview, which would, obviously, not reveal the psyche of the potential employee. So, by arranging a second and more meticulous interview, Domino’s will build an integrated profile of the candidate person who is to get on board with the company. Another policy that managers should follow is to give bonuses to employees who contribute to the success of the company. If they are mistreated or they are starting to feel ignored, they will become unproductive and, eventually, they are more likely to create some kind of trouble that would cost a lot to the company. Rewarding productive employees is an effective incentive to work in any organization. Build good Press and Public relations Building good press and public relations often helps companies get out of the...