A Case Study of Domino’s Pizza’s Crisis Communication Strategies

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10 September 2021

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If a company experiences a huge disaster, there is not a shortcut: the companies will definitely suffer and without elaborate strategies, and the company would possibly never be the same again. The level of debate holds that as a substitute of responding to a crisis as a defeat, the corporate should recognize the fact that it’s another alternative window and find one of the best approach out of the disaster, basically, with its brand picture and popularity intact. In reference to Weiss (2009), possessing data of speaking with the company stakeholders could produce major significance for a corporation throughout disaster no matter the severity of the situation.

The organizations managing crisis might disregard the power of social media tradition that is at all times very influential. Social media may be addressed each exterior and throughout the group. Bell, (2010) refers to media culture as crossing boundaries. Therefore, the plans for crisis communication ought to account for the variables of social media tradition. The inclined period of globalization, the world is turning into extra linked, and organizations enterprise into new environments.

The hotly contested matter of communication disaster is naturally cross-social media culture and requires consideration as a half of organizational development and improvement.Social media are at present bridging a serious headache to the corporate world because it has proved the flexibility of exhibiting and spreading information. In the previous years, the elite journalist could assist in breaking dangerous information. However, at present anybody can break unhealthy information and unfold it within the social media. From the company viewpoint, the choices of producing unhealthy information form the company immediately signifies disaster that results in the negative influence on brand, gross sales, and word of advertisements.

Globalization has resulted into the period of social media. Previously, corporations would respond to bad information by releasing public apologies or position statements utilizing the traditional media inside a period of few days. This is now not the case right now. The public is consistently scrutinizing the corporate world and expects the corporate to release prompt apology throughout the shortest time attainable instantly utilizing the social media. This has led to an excellent interest from the businesses to establish the style by which unhealthy news speedily spreads within the social media. Their main issues are establishing the feeling of the public and propaganda that influences the general public sentiments.

The efforts of public relations convey the values, perspectives and norms of organizations that perform collectively to unify the group (Bell, 2010). A disaster can occur anytime anywhere. It could incorporate problems inside any variety of cultures or contain conflicts inside a single tradition. Bell further indicates that perceptions can get swayed with sound group insight and sufficient planning. The organization should adopt a plan that addresses present and future points, nonetheless, in some circumstances, such plans can show to be an invaluable tool in times of crisis within the group. The world practitioners of public relations should provide their collaboration strategies with stakeholders to assist in pooling ideas, assets, and techniques together that gets dispersed in dissimilar methods worldwide. This proposal case examine investigates the strategies on one of the first firms to experience a global critical brand popularity due to spread of unhealthy new within the social media. Particularly, this research proposal investigates Domino’s Pizza’s crisis administration methods. The proposal analyzes earlier studies as a source of secondary data to that may offer a comparability with this examine.

Background of the Study/ Domino’s Pizza’s Communication Strategy

           As of 1997, Domino’s Pizza was the most important firm delivering pizza in the world. Besides, it was the world’s second-largest pizza chain. The company had 4, 431 supply shops for pizza within the United States. Additionally, the corporate had greater than 1, 521 units in fifty nine international investments by the end of 1997(Peeples & Vaughn, 2010). The gross sales of the company had been price $3.sixteen billion providing it with the place as 200th largest private firm on the Forbes personal listing of 500 corporations. The firm sells a number of products together with pan, deep-dish and skinny crust pizzas. Despite the superb worldwide recognition and strong wealth, the corporate skilled a crisis that made it a historic area of studies inside the public relations and communication Domino’s. The crisis of Domino’s pizza started when two company employees produced and uploaded a vulgar video in YouTube in 2009. The video proven the 2 staff partaking in a variety of well being legislation violations, notably, blowing mucous on sandwich, putting cheese on the nostril, and placing a sponge that’s meant to scrub dishes between the buttocks. Within restricted time, the video popularized and gained viral publicity with greater than half 1,000,000 views and the main news media masking the event (Peeples & Vaughn, 2010). It adopted that the public joined the discourse and began discussing the video through social media.Weiss, (2009) reviews that many of the video discussions occurred on Twitter, and investigative research accounts that just about 15, 000 subscribers of Twitter offered their opinion on the occasion. The firm responded by sharing an apology on Twitter by sharing the chief executive officer apology on YouTube. The response from Dominos was too late, approximately 48 hours after the event, according to (Aula, 2011). The video obtained posted on a Monday night time, and the company responded on Wednesday. Despite the short efforts from the internal teamwork to form a strategy on Tuesday, the preliminary intentions of the company were trying to not, as a outcome of it needed to restrict further public data on the video. The company didn’t problem formal press release to the mainstream press and went towards the thought of hiring the external crisis administration consultants to solve the disaster creatively. However, investigations show that it opened a twitter account to deal with the inquiries from the shoppers. Thereafter, the corporate reached a choice to problem a YouTube apology to quell the already intensified public relations nightmare that was performed in t multiple media mainstreams. The crisis caused dire consequences for the corporate. A study however reveals that disaster communication researchers have not validated such case research using a systematic evaluation on public sentiments on social media (HCD Research, 2009).

Literature Review/ Previous Research

           This section presents the analysis done on the consequences of crisis management case studies. The section supplies an empirical evaluate of each tutorial and scholarly knowledge obtained from earlier research. The scholarly work offered in this chapter will present the basis for analysis that will ultimately assist in answering the analysis question. The main literature critiques the previous works on strategies of disaster administration case study, significantly the case of Domino’s Pizza crisis management. The review adopts a communication and mass media approach to providing analysis of effectiveness public relations in the identical context. The literature analysis makes use of principle us and sub-theories to increase the understanding of the social media industry the proposal will examine and supply and comprehend a holistic picture of the phenomena.Schiller, (2007) stories on the analysis on communication disaster literature base on the mechanisms that ought to be employed by the organizations to manage the disaster and based mostly on the four necessities adopted through research validations. According to the examine, the 4 necessities of disaster response administration highlights that the company must be quick to reply within the shortest time attainable, be correct and supply an empirical analysis of the details with absolute care. Additionally, response to a communication disaster requires corporations to keep away from saying no comments and be consistent and keep away from statement contradictions to the company stakeholders. As outlined by Coombs (2008), the content material analysis put emphasis on more resolves and technique around the disaster messages that should be communicated to the shareholders. Research on crisis communication has previously centered on managing the reactions of the stakeholders to a disaster. The students have put more concentration on the actions and phrases used to answer a disaster. Particularly, the researchers have broken the methods into three categories. These are instructing data, popularity restore and adjusting info.Coombs, (2008) asserts that instructing data offers informational energy to the shareholders the degree of bodily preparation within the occasion a disaster emerges. Particularly, this implies the applying of warning indicators that is normally coupled with instructions. Adjusting the information significantly helps the industry stakeholders to develop a coping psychological strategy with the disaster. The repair of reputation entails all of the measures put by the organization to repair or protect the perception of the stakeholders in path of the group. The recent strategy by Dominos Pizza to market itself with sole intentions of enhancing is empirical for this proposal in phrases of repair of reputation. According to Schiller (2007), the group admitted that that they had manufactured an inferior product however offered assurance on quality enchancment. This is an try by the group to repair the status. Researchers agree that the core components intertwined in an organizational disaster together with urgency, unpredictability, vital threats. The researchers further assert that the basic public is usually unwilling to engage in social media discussions when an event is unexpected or important.

The instant precept of communication crisis management is to inform the reality. The company ought to face the common public and provide the actual concern behind the crisis. In the situations of disaster, social constructions and multiple truths of occasions concurrently search public consideration. The firm, prospects and the employees and the media are the vital thing stakeholders for disaster administration. Claeys and Cauberghe, (2012) references that the case of Domino Pizza specifically had watchdog organizations similar to Consumerist.com and GoodAsYou.org that had been developing the occasion variations. As established the research article, the reality that Tim McIntyre, the corporate communication vice chairman meant to convey was that the occasion was stage managed and it was a rogue act of two staff who though they were creating fun and that they didn’t present the brand of Domino Pizza. Likewise, they outlined that the 2 employees were not the consultant of the ten, 000 people that tirelessly work for the corporate across the globe (Aula, 2011). Furthermore, the study reveals that the truth that Patrick Doyle had intentions of articulating was that the corporate didn’t do the act and that they have been sorry for the rogue event. Therefore, the corporate moved ahead to restore their status as an attempt to reply to the disaster.

A analysis that studied the case of Domino Pizza recognized two kinds of tweets contents. Likewise, Young and Flowers (2012) write that they had been reality and opinions. The tweets on information had no sentiments, nonetheless, simply said the event. The class included more links with none textual content, simple hyperlink introductions or links with the identical headline of the website linked. On the opposite hand, the opinion class had tweets that were either constructive or negative sentiments. But, based on the incident the character, many of the tweets have been unfavorable. Therefore, the company adopted an apology strategy to resolve the disaster. Discussions from the research define that the officials’ corporate apology dropped the level of unfavorable sentiments from eighty two.8 % to 54.6 %. Still, the level of positive sentiments elevated mysteriously from 06 p.c to 5.5 percent. Claeys and Cauberghe, (2012) reinforces that crisis communication administration practice in situations where corporations provides public apology, they don’t develop high or sudden enhance of praise. Rather, they count on the adverse sentiments from the public to turn out to be more rational because of the apology and settle down sequentially. The evaluation of Domino Pizza confirms the expectations. Peeples and Vaughn, (2010) provides that the variety of factual tweets considerably inclined from 16.7 p.c to 39.9 percent. Therefore, the case of Domino Pizza public apology calmed and reduced the amount of negative opinions and increased positive and information in the Twitter conversations.

A research by Coombs, (2008) concludes that one of the best and the only approach to reduce back the social media impact on the disaster are to integrate the social media into the crisis communication strategies and supply a dialogue monitoring on the social media. Claeys et.al (2012) harmonizes the reality that the brads that have one of the best public notion will be the one that will apply the net tools as their potential clients. Likewise, Young and Flowers (2012) evaluated and concluded that the effective leverage of the social media by Dominos was similar to the style utilized by the pranksters. That is, to transparently communicate the efforts of the corporate to resolve the crisis. Finally, the company emerged from the viral media criticizes and still knowledgeable on the true face of disaster communication strategies within the sensible age of social media. Peeples et.al (2010) asserts that the incident of Domino Pizza was a sensible implication for crisis managers within the globalized enterprise world. He places that when a company experiences a disaster of bad information to the social media; they should reply with a quick response, apology and admit the mistakes appropriately. A study by Coombs, (2008) confirmed the positive effects of corporate apologies to the public in social media, YouTube and Twitter each in Korea and the U.S. secondly, the companies should have interaction in conversations with the social media in the course of the official occasions and not simply after a disaster hits the corporate. Lastly, based mostly on the speed at which social media information spread, the corporate ought to be ready to respond inside hours after the event, rather than within days.

Research Questions

           By conducting an empirical evaluation to the sentiments of the public in social media based on the disaster of Domino Pizza, the study will try to reply the following questions:1. How does the construction of the network determine the effectiveness of communication disaster answer strategy?

2. How can the corporate strategize to scale back the negative sentiments and increase constructive sentiments of social media?

3. What are the temporal and spatial traits of diffusion influences strategic solutions of communication crisis in the company dangerous news?


           This chapter offers a description of scope and methodology of this proposal. This chapter examines the scope of the analysis proposal and builds understanding of the research source of major data and why the information will be adopted for the research. Likewise, the chapter will provide information of the pattern data and methodology of amassing the information for the analysis examine. The proposal methodology provides empirical explanations on how and why the study will employ a quantitative survey to answer the research questions. Furthermore, the methodology explanations present a systemic strategy to analysis of findings, conclusion and the implication sections that will be introduced in the ultimate stage of the research. The scope of the examine focuses on methods for managing communication crisis close to the methods employed by Domino Pizza. The goal shall be based on the methods that were used by the corporate to solve the communication crisis on the basis of social media.The research will conduct a sample survey of assorted main sources of knowledge fro the evaluation. First, the research will use on-line survey on the corporate web site and company stories to determine the first knowledge. It is important to note that online survey of data collection might be instrumental for the analysis provided the time and financial constraints attached to the study/. This proposal supplies that the corporate website will present major information that might be reputable and enhance empirical analysis. Corporate stories on the methods used by the corporate to manage the crisis may even provide primary data that will be important for cross analysis. To establish the validity of the info collected, this section will present data for cross comparability with the previous research that has been performed in the same matter.Furthermore, this proposal will use stay interviews from the professionals and officials from the company to provide major information for analysis. Corbin and Strauss, (1998) explains that stay interviews and phone interviews are a technology facilitated technique of collecting information for evaluation. It relies on the premise that recorded live interviews from the company officers, and professionals such as crisis managers that reacted to the incident through an interview within the social media cannot be distorted. This is an inexpensive method of accumulating primary information utilizing the technological advantages. The professional and firm official interview data are current and simply accessible throughout the website of the corporate and different websites of the social media archives. Close examination of the URLs that the public used to submit their comments and the company used to engage the customers may even be audited. The strategy of auditing the URLs utilized by the corporate and its stakeholders will present the direct response from the company that can primarily constitute the uncooked knowledge for the analysis. Auditing to the URL postings will also present statistical info of the odds of the tweets, each optimistic and negative that got here from the basic public. Likewise, statistical info will be computed primarily based on the discovering of the nature of public response after the response from the company and before the response from company officers. This will show the effectiveness or the ineffectiveness of the method the corporate developed to revive their status and brand (Corbin and Strauss, 1998). Finally, the first data that might be collected will provide evidential info on the methods employed by Domino Pizza in curbing the communication crisis.


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Bell, L. M. (2010). Crisis communication: The praxis of response. The Review of Communication, 10(2), 142-155.

Claeys, A., & Cauberghe, V. (2012). Crisis response and disaster timing strategies, two sides of the same coin. Public Relations Review, 38, 83-88.

Coombs, W. T. (2008, April 2). Crisis communication and social media. Institute for Public Relations. Retrieved December 31, 2012, from http://www.instituteforpr.org/topics/crisis-communication-and-social-media/

Coombs, W.T. (2008). Ongoing crisis communication: Planning, managing, and responding. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage

Corbin, J. & Strauss, A. (1998). Basics of Qualitative Research‟, 3Ed, Sage Publications, Inc.HCD Research .(2009). Domino’s Brand Takes a Hit after YouTube“Prank” Video.http://tinyurl.com/d4e47h

Peeples, A. & Vaughn, C. (2010). Domino’s “special” delivery: Going viral by way of social media (Parts A & B). Arthur W. Page Society case examine competition in company communications. Retrieved December 31, 2012, from http://www.awpagesociety.com/insights/winning-case-studies/2010

Schiller, M. (2007, March 5). Crisis and the web: How to leverage the Internet when a model takes a hit. Adweek, 48(10), sixteen.Weiss, T. (2009, April 22). Crisis management—Domino’s case study analysis. Trendsspotting Blog. Retrieved December 31, 2012, from http://www.trendsspotting.com/blog/?p=1061

Young, C. l., & Flowers, A. (2012). Fight viral with viral: A Case Study of Domino’s Pizza’s Crisis Communication Strategies. Case research in strategic communication, 1, article 6.

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