Category Archives: PR connections

Domino’s YouTube Crisis Response: Interview with Tim McIntyre

Domino’s YouTube Crisis Response: Interview with Tim McIntyre

April 27, 2009

By Mike Smith

Crisis communications for large global companies like Domino’s still requires a considered response—especially in today’s tweeting, blogging and Facebook-saturated PR environment. After a Web video showing Domino’s employees tainting food products went live on YouTube, the company’s communicators were charged with sitting on their hands for 48 hours before issuing a response. Yet an analysis of the day-to-day situation and brand reputation response suggests differently. Domino’s made the decision to get the facts and segment core constituencies for immediate response, rather than to “fan the flames” of a brewing online video posting when kids with a Webcam besmirched the pizza maker’s reputation.

Tim McIntyre, Domino’s VP of Communications, believes the company’s first-day response was right on. He and his social media communications team were forced to address the YouTube food safety issue—two employees whom he describes as “yahoos” and “goofballs” who stuck pizza cheese up their noses, blew it out on a Domino’s sub sandwich and dubbed the food ready to go. The prank went down in Conover, NC, population 3,000, on an Easter Sunday when there was nothing to deliver. McIntyre said the employees contend that the sub was never served.

“Savvy Domino’s consumers brought this to our attention, and we confirmed the prank by Monday morning, April 13,” McIntyre says. The communications team’s next step was to identify the store, fire the employees, call the Conover and NC Health Departments, and ensure product safety. There was also a call to police and Domino’s store security. All of these internal moves and public health considerations took time, but, he says, getting a handle on the crisis had to come before external communications.

“Domino’s also contacted our franchisees to see how they could get involved to engage customers,” McIntyre says. He noted that the “Good As You” (GAY) online community posted the offensive video, as the pranksters announced, “We’re gay” during the nose-blowing incident. “We had to address constituents and they became invaluable allies,” McIntyre says.

Meanwhile, the social media team monitored the blogosphere for other posts. Domino’s asked YouTube executives to take the video down. The team produced a video apology by Domino’s USA President Patrick Doyle and then linked or tagged that response to every incident of YouTube postings it could find. The apology was produced and ready by Tuesday, April 14, and mass media press went out.

According to McIntyre’s post-crisis analysis, Domino’s could have done a better job on Twitter. “That is one we missed,” he says. “We got into a dialogue on Twitter by 10 p.m. on Tuesday,” within 12-hours of learning of the video. The [Twitter-ers] were wondering why Domino’s had waited so long, and they expected a faster one-day response. But once addressed, he says, “The Twitter community actually made the crisis bigger.”

“We communicated with our core constituencies,” McIntyre says. “Those who already were exposed to the viral video, customers who complained, store owners. How wide do you send this message? Do you fan the flames so that people go view the first video or search more about it? If you hit the mass media button, you might force folks to go ahead and look at something.”

According to McIntyre, some mass media used the crisis for ratings and sensationalized the story, while others did the opposite. He says, for example, that Anderson Cooper’s CNN team called, investigated and determined the YouTube post was a non-story.

“Do you put out a candle with a firehouse?” McIntyre says. “Today, the fragmented media gives you no time to fight those fires.  I am expected to grab a video Webcam, grab my ax and answer in real-time.”

Three fourths of the U.S. still doesn’t know this You Tube violation happened, he notes. “Sure, it is a big audience and our first response was to find out who these perpetrators are, remove them and then put out the fire. But that does not mean we did not do critical response things in the first 24 hours. The fire was not the Web community [advancing the story], the fire was our customer, franchisees and employee groups.”

In the final analysis, McIntyre says, “I am proud of our 48-hour response from the video posting-up to our President’s apology.” He believes Domino’s was the victim of the abuse.

Humorist Garrison Keillor actually wondered on his own blog why the offending video pranksters were given so much attention. He wrote,  “This is the world turned upside down,” and that the incident “is amplified to an absurd level.”

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Phi Mu Phone-a-Thon

My sorority at Georgia Southern University hosted the annual Phi Mu foundation Phone- A- thon. We called people all over the united states and asked them if they would be willing to make a contribution to Phi Mu. Each year a Phi Mu chapter is selected to host this Phone- a -thon. It is to help the education and leadership of developmental needs of collegiate and alumna. My sisters and I received a stack of papers of names and phone numbers to call. When we called we read off of a script. It was prompted to respond in relation to the people on the other end of the phone. When I participated I got a little taste of public relations. Public Relations is all about communication. We raised $62,300 and we broke records!

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My PR Adventure

As I get deeper into the PR major, I am starting to understand how important connections really are.  I am ready to start making those connections now.  However, I am not sure how to get started. I am looking on Twitter for people to follow who might be able to help me.  I am excited about PR and learning more about it.  I am ready to meet people that are excited about PR just as much as I am, and are willing to give some great advice.

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I am a new member of  PROpenMic find me at

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Public Relations – How to Organize a PR Event

PR event can be great for generating free media coverage for your client, but it needs to be properly organized or disaster may ensue. In this article I have set out some tips for ensuring that your PR event achieves all the goals set for it.

Organizing a successful PR event isn’t a complicated matter — you just have to follow a few guidelines in order to ensure that things are arranged as smoothly and effectively as possible by taking the steps described below…

1. Decide on the type of event

The type of event which suits your client will be determined by a number of variables such as his budget, the desired outcome and whether he wants to focus on swift or long-term success. Having discussed these factors with the person you are working for, you can suggest an event which seems most appropriate to his needs. The final decision, of course, rests with the client.

2. Set a suitable date

Whatever kind of event your client decides on, make it clear that all events take time to put together. Ideally, you should set a date at least six months hence for the event, and preferably more. The more time you have to promote the event, the more successful it is likely to be. This isn’t to say that planning an event to take place in six weeks time is impossible, because it isn’t, but it will require considerable effort to ensure that everything is arranged properly in such a short space of time.

3. Make a list of all that needs arranging

Different events require different arrangements. If your client wants to sponsor a sporting event then discussions will need to be entered into with the individual or team in question. If he wants to launch an open competition then decisions as to the type of competition, how it will be promoted and the prizes involved will need to be made. Whatever the kind of event you are asked to work on, make a list of every single thing which needs arranging, from organizing a suitable venue to obtaining any licenses which may be necessary (for example, a performance license or a license to run a lottery).

4. Start promoting the event

When you know exactly what you need to do to get a successful event organized, you can start promoting it. The most cost-effective way to do this is by sending press releases to as many as possible local (or national if the event demands this) newspapers, broadcasters and other relevant organizations. Of course, in addition to using press releases, other promotional methods can be employed if the budget allows. Advertising, direct mailshots and even internet promotion can all be used to good effect for many events.

5. Use your list to set things up

Now that you have started the ball rolling by promoting the event, start working through your list and setting things up. Hire the venue, send out invitations and do whatever else you have decided you need to do to make the event a success.

6. Aim to get ongoing publicity

Once everything is in place and the event itself is sorted out, aim to get even more publicity by contacting the feature editors of newspapers, magazines and television shows and inviting them to cover the event. If the event is something that will be of interest to their readers or viewers, you can get coverage before, during and after the event — thus turning perhaps a ‘one-day’ PR event into a publicity campaign which spans several weeks.

If you follow these simple guidelines, your PR event should be a resounding success and generate lots of valuable publicity and goodwill for your client.

I found this interesting article on ezine articles

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