(3 pages of text)
The vice president of communications of Domino’s Pizza International faced a significant threat to his company’s reputation due to negative social media exposure. A video had been posted on YouTube two days earlier by a Domino’s employee that showed two Domino’s employees at a North Carolina franchise tampering with customers’ pizza and sandwich orders. The employee stuck cheese up his nose, sneezed on the food prior to boxing it up, and could be overheard in the video admitting that the orders would soon be delivered to unsuspecting customers. The video went viral; it had been reposted to Twitter and Facebook, and received almost a million views and many comments on YouTube. It was also receiving attention from both local and national media channels. The senior executive team of Domino’s was meeting with the vice president in a matter of hours, and Domino’s social media team would need to devise a plan to respond to the video to protect Domino’s strong brand image before it was too late.
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This case was written to place students into a difficult communications crisis involving social media. Directly in the role of senior management, students must make a careful analysis of the events that have occurred and the effect of social media. It is also important for students to look at the different stakeholders involved. Placed into the role of the vice president of communications of Domino’s, students must use their problem-solving and communication skills to devise a plan of action for dealing with the current situation and how the company must move forward. Possible areas of focus include:
- How a large international company responds to an uncontrollable online communication crisis.
- The impact that social media is having on companies, how easily someone can damage the image of a company, and the importance of having an emergency plan in place.
- A class discussion could debate how long a company should wait before taking action and should consider the important details that must be included in a message (e.g. issue identification, accountability, action being taken).
Course/subject areas include business communications (public relations, crisis communication) and marketing (brand management, advertising and promotion).
Accommodation & Food Services
United States, Large, 2009
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