I read last month about two employees of a Domino’s Pizza franchise in North Carolina who created quite a stir with a You Tube video they posted. Domino’s is a large US pizza store business with hundreds of units across the US.
The two employees posted a video that showed an unflattering prank involving the sanitary conditions in their restaurants kitchen. Within a matter of hours the video received more than 1 million hits.
With the hits mounting, Domino’s CEO Patrick Doyle posted a response to the video.
He informed the general public, at least those who could be reached through conventional means, that the Domino’s Pizza in question fired the two employees and were pressing charges against them. He made sure to say that they closed, cleaned and sanitized the restaurant and would be more careful about hiring practices in the future.
What do you think of the response?
I think they did a great job addressing the situation by acting immediately. Social media can either build or destroy a company’s reputation so being responsive is extremely important.
However, in addition to changing their hiring practice methods, Domino’s should consider a policy about social media for all employees. Does Domino’s know if someone is posting a negative photo or comment on Facebook, My Space, Twitter or any other social networking site? Who on the corporate end is monitoring these sites?
The other thing, Domino’s did not have was any kind of online presence prior to this incident to be able to directly address those who would most likely view the video After the fact they developed a Twitter account. It took a long time to get the word out to the general public because there was no crisis communications internet infrastructure in place.
It seems to me that the problem here was that Domino’s was being defensive instead of proactive in trying to know who their consumers are and what their consumers want.
Companies need to realize that in today’s social media age, it’s important to have a presence on line and to be transparent with the public.
According to a recent article I read in Adweek, “Reputation problems can be both prevented and remedied by thinking and acting transparently. The corporation must be ready for public scrutiny because it can occur at any time.”
So what did they do wrong?
1- They didn’t have a social media policy in place for all employees to sign.
2 – They had no real consumer oriented online presence prior to this incident
3 – They need to respond positively and put a substantial amount toward building back their reputation
Domino’s Pizza now has a long road ahead of them. They will need to counteract this negative exposure and turn it into positive publicity for all of their stores.
Editorial Staff: By Jeff Bressler (firstname.lastname@example.org)