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Domino’s YouTube flap: ‘a landmark event in crisis management’

April 21, 2009

After two Domino’s Pizza employees uploaded a video to YouTube last week showing one of them sticking cheese up his nose and then putting it on a sandwich, the chain is being credited for an effective, if somewhat sluggish, response, reports. The Domino’s PR crisis provides a valuable learning experience for marketers of every stripe, the site says.

Domino’s was on top of the situation within about 48 hours — too long, some believe. The video had received nearly 1 million views before it was taken down last Wednesday night. The company said that it didn’t want to act too hastily and alert more consumers to the situation it was trying to contain, reports.

But on Wednesday morning, Domino’s decided that a YouTube response was necessary. Patrick Doyle, president of Domino’s USA, was featured in the company’s video, apologizing for the incident. The apology video had been viewed 330,000 times when the story went to press.

“Although the individuals in question claim it’s a hoax, we are taking this incredibly seriously,” he says in the clip, adding that the company is reviewing its hiring practices to make sure that “people like this don’t make it into our stores.”

Domino’s also opened a Twitter account to communicate with its customers. On a grading scale, Richard Levick, president of Levick Strategic Communications, said that he would give Domino’s an F for the first 24 hours and an A or A+ for everything thereafter. Levick and others agreed that the Domino’s case will go down as a landmark event in crisis management— Compiled by Greg Beaubien for Tactics and The Strategist Online



Susan Hart says:

I agree with the "F" grading for not responding quickly enough, and a "C" for the following days. As PR practitioners, we preach that timing is everything, to be prepared in the event of the unexpected, and to respond to all our target audiences. The Domino's debacle is not an example of what to do during a crisis; it's an example of being reactive during a crisis.

April 22, 2009

Gregg Shields says:

Domino's almost lost it all. They have recovered, and appear to have learned a lesson. Not everybody has. Have you seen what Ci Ci's has been through? CiCi's didn't learn a thing from Domino's, reacting to a TV story that is migrating to internet with a written statement, and no apparent apology. Ouch.

April 23, 2009

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