There’s a difference

After mulling this over for the last couple of days I’ve decided that the story of a handful of Domino’s Pizza employees posting a video of them adding disgusting ingredients to pizzas (which they say were never actually delivered to customers) to YouTube is not actually a social media marketing story. It’s a human resources story.

Why?

We’re not dealing with customers opening their cardboard pizza boxes, finding snot on their pepperoni and subsequently posting pictures of it on Flickr and details on their discovery to Twitter. THAT would have been a social media marketing issue since it involves the customer experience and is spread via first hand accounts.

This, though, is about employee mis-behavior. All the company needs to say is that the employees have been fired and that it’s reviewing on-the-job behavior guidelines with all employees. It doesn’t need to respond to every blog post about the video. It doesn’t need to go into panic mode. Announce the offensive employees have been let go and be done with it.

Not everything that happens via social media tools requires a social media-based response. Sometimes the best course of action when you find your brand under fire is to catch your breath and consider what the core issue is and respond accordingly. That might be through social media channels – they certainly do increase the reach of your message – or it might be through the traditional media. But know what sort of issue you’re responding to first and you’ll be in a much better position.

By Chris Thilk

Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist with over 15 years of experience in online strategy and content marketing. He lives in the Chicago suburbs.

2 comments

  1. Sorry, I’m a touch confused. The consumer finding boogers in their food, filming it, and posting it to youtube is a social media issue? But, employees putting boogers in the food, filming it, and posting it to youtube is NOT a social media issue?

    At any rate, IMO this is mainly a PR story/issue at the end of the day. It’s crisis management. Traditional and social media tools should be used (in a strategic fashion) to work to control the message/damage. But they are just outlets/tools. Twitter, youtube, and the like have a potential use for various corporate functions (ie HR, PR, Marketing, etc). They are not the domain of one or the other.

    And just issuing a response and forgetting it, could be potentially dangerous. Your consumers will continue to have the conversation with or without you. You should listen to your consumers, but make sure your voice/messaging is heard. Does the ceo need to be monitoring blogs and entering every conversation? No, but someone that works at Dominos should be, or the masses will come to their own conclusions and revolt.

    Finally, unfortunately for brands today, that don’t have time to wait for a situation to play out… they don’t have time to catch their breath. Information/content spreads too far, too fast, and a consumer’s perception becomes their reality. Brands have to react to crisis immediately, and decisively. People want leadership and action.

Comments are closed.