Dominos: Crisis Communications (S)not So Hot


Dominos delivers!

Dominos delivers!

Dominos Pizza faced a dough tossers nightmare last week when a YouTube video surfaced, showing two moronic Dominos employees putting more than pepperoni in those pies.  Yuk!  I didn’t see the video on YouTube, it was shown on one of the local news shows here in Richmond.  Now that’s the power of social media!  To make the story even juicier (poor choice of words), the local yokels showed the video to passersby to gauge their rather predictable reactions. Sigh.

Dominos’ response to the crisis has been thoroughly discussed and dissected by PR wonks everywhere, so I won’t rehash the specifics for you here.  I assume they did the best they could under very difficult circumstances and overall I think they did okay.  There is an article in tomorrow’s edition of AdAge which does a great job of telling the story.

Here are my reactions to the Dominos crisis:

The AdAge story leads me to believe that Dominos never brought in outside PR help.  Why?  Now’s not the time to be cheap guys. Dominos clearly needed help and they should have brought in the experts.

Along those lines, it’s kind of shocking that one of the world’s most recognizable brands didn’t have crisis communications counsel waiting in the wings for just such an emergency.  If you’re in the fast food biz, you can learn a lot from this incident.

The YouTube video reply from Dominos, while a great tactic conceptually, was woefully inadequate from a production standpoint. Dominos CEO Patrick Doyle’s delivery was a worst case scenario for video production geeks.  It looked anything but heartfelt.  The reason: Doyle failed to look into the camera (what is he looking at?!) and he appeared to be reading from cue cards.  I’m sure PR folks everywhere are shaking their heads in disbelief  over this video.  Another learning experience.

As for me, the only thing I will now eat are peanut butter and jelly burritos that I prepare myself.  

Shut the door, it’s Dominos!


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