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October 20, 2009

Six months have passed since the disturbing videos of employees at a Domino’s Pizza store in North Carolina surfaced on Youtube and other various video sharing sites . The videos show two employees breaking just about every health code violation possible while providing narration for the camera. The video, seen below, was viewed over a million times on Youtube before being taken off the website.

Disgusting Dominos People @ Yahoo! Video

Dominos Pizza reacted quickly by creating a channel on Youtube where the president Patrick Doyle addressed Dominos clients regarding this embarrassing issue. The company had also opened a new Twitter account especially for responding to comments made on this topic. Here is the response video:

This is a classic case of online crisis management, although Domino’s reacted quickly, they could have done a better job in executing their strategy. Coming up with a response video of Domino’s president especially for the web was a smart decision, as it made sense to address the actions of these employees on the very same medium the videos originated from.

The video was shot at a Domino’s store and it featured Patrick Doyle, Dominos president wearing a buttoned shirt with a Dominos logo on it. The fact that Doyle is clearly reading the statement and not looking into the camera, gives the video a “staged “ feel to it and  almost defeats the purpose of having him in the store to begin with. After all, Domino’s way of re assuring us is showing the president of the company is on location, and is heading the efforts to regain customer trust.

Another aspect of strategy in online reputation management that was overlooked in this case is analyzing how the story would be searched on Google a year later. The original employee video was called “disgusting Dominos people”. Dominos wanted the response video to come up on Google when people searched for the mischievous video, so they named it “Disgusting Dominos people – Domino’s Responds”. The trouble with that is six months down the line when searching for “Disgusting Dominos people” – the image of Domino’s president Patrick Doyle comes up. This is something that Domino’s could have easily avoided, placing a screen shot of the Domino’s logo in the beginning of the response video.




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