Effective Communication Case Study

Topics: Public relations, Cyanide poisoning, Crisis management Pages: 3 (1252 words) Published: May 18, 2007
Effective Communication Case Study Analysis
Communication can be defined as the act of transmitting information. Effective communication is a two way process. Information that flows back and forth between sender and receiver is considered effective (Clark 2003). For example, an organization communicates to their publics and then begins to look for feedback from their customers to ensure that everyone understands the message. Sometimes the feedback is not verbal and organizations can only measure the effectiveness by analyzing consumers' actions (Clark 2003). Some companies have a great understanding of their customers and excel with effective communication. One such company is Johnson & Johnson. The purpose of this paper is to present a case study analysis on Tylenol's crisis management plan and analyze how effective they were with communicating to their publics.

Case Overview
Back in September 1982 and over a three-day period, six people died in the Chicago area (Bell, n.d.). Normally this is not a rare occurrence. However, the police department thought something was not a right. For among the six people, three of them were from the same family and they all died during the same timeframe (Bell, n.d.). It was quickly discovered that all three family members died of cyanide poisoning (Bell, n.d.). A search of the home revealed a bottle of Tylenol extra strength capsules, which had the poisoning added into the pills (Bell, n.d.). One of the earlier deaths was quickly linked to the same type of medication and it was determined not to be an isolated incident (Bell, n.d.). In all, eight people died from the Tylenol capsules that were laced with 65 milligrams of cyanide (Susi, 2002). The amount of cyanide that was put into each pill was enough cyanide to kill 10,000 people (Susi, 2002). When Johnson & Johnson got the news that their product was the cause of all the deaths, the organization was faced with a crisis management situation.

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References: Bell, R. (N.D.). Death in a bottle. Retrieved May 16, 2007, from Crime Library Web site: http://www.crimelibrary.com/terrorists_spies/terrorists/tylenol_murders/index.html
Clark, J. (2003, July). Effective communication. Retrieved May 16, 2007, from Effective Communication Web site: http://www.isma.org.uk/stressnw/effcomm.htm
Center, A., & Jackson, P. (2003). Public relations practices. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Rehak, J. (2003, March 23). Tylenol made a hero of Johnson & Johnson the recall that started them all. Retrieved May 16, 2007, from International Herald Tribune Web site: http://www.iht.com/articles/2002/03/23/mjj_ed3_.php
Susi, R. (2002). Effective crisis management. Retrieved May 16, 2007, from Crisis management Web site: http://iml.jou.ufl.edu/projects/Fall02/Susi/index.htm
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