The Media Trainers®
Two teenagers with a twisted sense of humor, incriminating themselves with a phone camera as one of them appears to be disgustingly tainting a customer’s sandwich as he prepares it in a Dominos kitchen in North Carolina. They post their mischief on youtube.com and it gets hundreds of thousands of hits.
According to Advertising Age, Dominos management first wanted to remain “below the radar.” It was a poor decision, and one management had to reverse in order to fight fire with fire. But, Dominos hesitation may have cost it more on image than necessary, even though some loss was inevitable had the pizza chain reacted positively immediately.
But Dominos headquarters still seems to be getting in its own way, with apparent fear of making a bad situation worse. They’ve made it difficult to find the company’s response on its own Web site. It first requires an educated guess, clicking on the tiny font link “Corporate Info” at the bottom of the homepage, then finding a brief blurb “To Our Customers”, clicking on that and finally seeing the full statement. That statement includes the video Dominos USA President Patrick Doyle posted on youtube.com. This message should be loud and clear on the company homepage.
Remaining “under the radar” in this type of situation virtually is impossible today. The Internet has removed that option, just as it has dispensed with deadlines. Everything is immediate and, while not always “fair” game, everything today is in play.
Learn from this experience. You cannot afford to wait. In fact, you need to plan today for tomorrow’s possible crisis. Consider all the situations you can anticipate and craft a plan for quick action. Dominos’ president’s video was effective. He could not prevent some damage to the company’s image, thanks to the immature and, possibly criminal, actions of two teenaged employees. However, immediate, positive response usually will restore a good reputation in the long term.