The Domino’s Effect: Looking Back

On April 21, 2009, in public relations, by Barbara Nixon

If you haven’t heard anything about Domino’s Pizza in the last week, you must have been taking a media and social media vacation.

Three reviews of how Domino’s reacted to this crisis are worth listening to (or watching, in Gary V’s case).

Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz discuss Domino’s for nearly half of their latest For Immediate Release podcast (The Hobson & Holtz Report – Podcast #441). Their commentary on Domino’s begins near the 13:00 mark.

Gary Vaynerchuk, in his inimitable style, shares his reaction to Patrick Doyle, President, Domino’s U.S.A.


And the folks from CustomScoop devoted the first third of their latest Media Bullseye Radio Roundtable to Domino’s.

What else needs to be said about Domino’s crisis?

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Domino’s Fights Back, Web 2.0-Style

On April 16, 2009, in public relations, by Barbara Nixon

Using the same social media tools that harmed them earlier this week (regarding the “Disgusting Domino’s People” YouTube video), Domino’s is fighting to earn back the public’s trust via YouTube and Twitter.

Here’s a video from Patrick Doyle, President, Domino’s U.S.A., responding to “video of (now former) Domino’s team members.” The original “disgusting video” is no longer available on YouTube due to a copyright claim from Kristy Hammonds Thompson. The offending and offensive former employees have been arrested and are facing charges.

UPDATE (April 16, 10:20 a.m.) Though Doyle’s apology sounds sincere and I believe it is sincere, I do have to wonder what he was looking at during the filming of the video. A TelePrompTer, perhaps? Eye contact with his audience, like David Neelman’s in his Jet Blue apology video from two years ago, goes a long way to help us relate better. (Thanks to Scott Monty for suggesting a comparison of the two video apologies.)

And earlier in the day yesterday, I discovered this tweet from @dpzinfo, the official Domino’s corporate Twitter account:


Now, if only Domino’s can regain the Twitter accounts of @dominos and @dominospizza; both of those accounts have apparently been twittersquatted.

DISCLOSURE: I worked at a Domino’s franchise in Auburn, AL, while I was in college.

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A Domino’s PR Disaster in the Making?

On April 14, 2009, in public relations, by Barbara Nixon

UPDATE: Since I originally posted this, I’ve learned that Domino’s is taking steps to fire the two employees in the video.

AUDIO UPDATE: Neville Hobson posted this concise audio about the fiasco:

It was a relatively calm morning, both in my home and in the Twittersphere. And then I saw this message from Adam Cohen:


As a former Domino’s employee, a current Domino’s customer AND a professor of public relations, I felt compelled to see what Adam found. Here it is, all its “glory”:


At about 10:20 this morning, I went to Domino’s website. After a bit of poking around, I found their online contact form. This is what I sent to them:

I teach public relations at Georgia Southern University. Are you aware of this video titled “Disgusting Dominos People” on YouTube: ? Having worked at a Domino’s in Auburn (AL) in college, I was appalled at what is shown in the video. Is anything being done to address this? There’s a huge discussion going on about the topic on Twitter now, too: . If possible, I’d like to know what your company is doing to combat this, so I can share it with my PR students.

Thank you,

Barbara Nixon, Ph.D. (ABD) :: Georgia Southern University

I am curious to see what reaction Domino’s has to this video. This might be a good case study in crisis public relations.

UPDATE: April 14, 2009, 11:00 AM

Apparently another blogger has heard back from Tim McIntyre (in Corporate Communications at Domino’s).  See “Video: Let the Domino’s Appall” for his response, which says in part:

We just got off the phone with the franchise owner, who was absolutely dumbfounded by this. He has told us that he will be terminating their employment effective immediately.

Will I stop ordering from Domino’s? No, I won’t stop. I would like to know that these two people no longer work for the company. Domino’s is a company I trust. I just hope that they’re paying attention what people are saying about the company now.

Stay tuned.







(PS: Thanks, Adam, for calling this to my attention. I’ve used part of original tweet as the title to this blog post.)

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