Domino’s Crisis Revisited

Domino’s Pizza’s recent image crisis, courtesy of two now-former employees and YouTube, is still in an early stage of recovery, but enough time has passed for Tim McIntyre, the company’s VP of corporate communications, to identify a few lessons learned—one of which centers around Twitter. “That is one [social media platform] we missed,” he says. “We got into a dialogue on Twitter by 10 p.m. [on April 14, two days after the video was posted].” Characteristic of the 24/7 mentality of social media junkies, users expected a more immediate response. “Next time we [should try] to determine the value of the Twitter community and work with press on social blog sites to keep them informed sooner than 12 hours after the incident,” McIntyre says. But McIntyre does maintain that his team’s decision to take time to fully understand the scope of the situation before making a public statement was the right thing to do. “Our first response was to find out who these perpetrators were, remove them and then put out the fire,” he says. “But that does not mean we did not do critical response things in the first 24 hours. The fire was not the Web community [advancing the story], the fire was our customer, franchisees and employee groups.” As for additional lessons learned, McIntyre identifies the following: • Answer your core constituents first: Domino’s reached out to customers and employees. • Ensure customer safety: The team conducted franchise employee communications and management outreach, in addition to immediately firing the perpetrators. • Don’t fan the flames: Know when or whether to pull the trigger on a mass media campaign versus a targeted response. • Apologize: The team taped an apology from the Domino’s president. “That video did the best to quell the crisis issues,” McIntyre says. Source: These tips are based on an interview conducted by Mike Smith of MSBD exclusively for PR News. To read the full story, visit

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