Crises have negative impacts on the image of an organization. Although organizations cannot prevent crises, they can foresee them and device methods for their handling through effective communication. This paper analyzes the case study of lack of effective strategies for crisis communication in Domino's Pizza.
The case of Domino's Pizza lies in the external microenvironment as the case affects various external forces in the food industry. One of those is the customers who buy and use the products and services offered. With the uploading of the disgusting prank, the willingness of the consumers to continue buying the products has been affected (Veil, Buehner, & Palenchar, 2011). The competitors are the next part of the external microenvironment as they will seize the opportunity to overtake Domino's Pizza in the industry. Moreover, the public in general forms part of the external microenvironment especially the consumer protection groups who do not find the prank interesting but rather a case of food contamination.
Main Business Under Consideration (Domino's)
The main business which is under consideration, in this case, is Domino's Pizza. Notably, Domino's Pizza is one of the biggest companies engaged in the production and delivery of pizza around the globe. Since it was founded in the 1960s by Tom Monaghan, the organization has grown to great heights and has become one of the leading fast food dealers in the world (Dominos, 2018). The main business of the organization is the delivery of quality and affordable pizza to its customers who are spread across 70 countries including the UK, Canada, Japan, and India, among others.
The Problem in The Case Study
The main problem in the case study is negative publicity and the lack of effective strategies for crisis communication. Notably, all organizations have a certain vulnerability to crises and when they fail to prepare can incur massive damages. As such a crises management plan is key for organizations who wish to resolve any communication issues related to crises or disaster response. In the current case, Domino's Pizza was unprepared for ways in which they could communicate out of the crisis (Paladino, 2009). As such, the organization was perceived as inept and even negligent. The lack of adequate internal and external communications related to the posting of the prank as well as the failure to effectively address the issues arising from is a key issue.
How Domino's Responded to The Issue
Domino's Pizza responded to the issue of negative publicity by deploying a traditional response which involved sending out a press release and hoping that the stakeholders will understand the company's position (Paladino, 2009). However, later on, the company opened a Twitter account whereby it managed the public on the matter. Notably, the social media account was opened only after their company realized that the traditional response was not bringing about the intended benefits.
Domino's Success and Failure in Its Response
Domino's Pizza traditional response was one of the successes because the company did not bury its head in the sand and hope that the negative publicity would go away. Additionally, opening a Twitter account was a success as it engaged most of the people who were on social media (Paladino, 2009). However, the failure of the organization was in the manner in which it managed a large part of its crisis communication. In specific, the company did not have a crisis communication team as well as a spokesperson who would have given official communications.
Alternative Measures to Solve the Issue
The alternatives in resolving the issue of negative publicity and lack of effective crisis communications team are identifying a crisis communications team. Bernstein (2016) proposes that the team should be composed of senior executives led by the CEO and the public relations executive as well as legal counsel. Having such a team has been seen to result in an effective management of over 50% of all crises (Wekesa, 2013). The other alternative is identifying and training a spokesperson for the company. The spokesperson would communicate on behalf of the company and should possess the right skills, position, and training. The last measure is opening accounts in social media applications that the company does not have a presence. For instance, it should have a presence on Instagram and Facebook (Veil, Buehner, & Palenchar, 2011).
Changes I Would Make in Business to Achieve the Alternatives
To achieve the first alternative of having a crisis communications team, the company should reorganize its personnel so that the team can be created. However, according to Bernstein (2016), in identifying and training a spokesperson, Domino's Pizza should pass appropriate policies for the same and invest finances in training the persons. Additionally, imparting the spokesperson with the right skills and training will require financial resources. Moreover, the company will need to be present in almost all social media platforms to ensure communications reach all audiences (Veil, Buehner, & Palenchar, 2011). Such changes will ensure that there is effective communication in moments of crisis.
In conclusion, Domino's Pizza has the main business of producing and delivering pizza to its customers in over 70 countries that it operates. The main issue in the present case study is the negative publicity arising from lack of effective crisis communication strategies. Although the organization had the success of providing a traditional response, its failure was to only target traditional audience and not those in social media. The alternatives for Domino's Pizza are creating a crisis communication team and training a spokesperson. Such measures will ensure effective communication as well as have an official person bequeathed with the company's communications.
Bernstein, J. (2016). The 10 steps of crisis communications. Crisis Response, prevention, planning and, Training, 106. Retrieved 16 April 2018, from https://www.bernsteincrisismanagement.com/the-10-steps-of-crisis-communications/
Dominos (2018). About. Dominos.com. Retrieved 16 April 2018, from https://www.dominos.com/about
Paladino, J. (2009). Domino's Pizza - a Classic Failure in Crisis Communications - Write Speak Sell. Write Speak Sell. Retrieved 16 April 2018, from https://writespeaksell.com/dominos-pizza-a-classic-failure-in-crisis-communications#sthash.WwzbaaEd.dpbs
Veil, S. R., Buehner, T., & Palenchar, M. J. (2011). A workinprocess literature review: Incorporating social media in risk and crisis communication. Journal of contingencies and crisis management, 19(2), 110-122. Retrieved 16 April 2018, from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1468-5973.2011.00639.x
Wekesa, A. S. (2013). An Analysis of Team Effectiveness in Crisis Communication. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 3(7), 320-326. Retrieved 16 April 2018, from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/1fb8/f92cfccc1ddb8820801790c9cdc08dedfc53.pdf
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