Domino's Pizza is facing a communications crisis of the highest priority.
The quick version of events is as follows:
Two employees made a video in the kitchen of a North Carolina franchise doing really gross things to the food. Then they posted the video on YouTube and it was viewed over one million times before the company found out.
Sales have now been impacted. Domino's has had to spend quite a bit of time and money in damage control. The two employees are being threatened with the prospect of arrest and possibly a lawsuit.
The company demanded that YouTube pull down the offending video. The CEO created a response video. Domino's has created a twitter account to battle the story within the social media space.
Domino's Pizza defends reputation on Twitter after YouTube video shows employees abusing food. by Jessica Shankleman www.Telegraph.co.uk
Domino's Pizza has defended its reputation on Twitter after an employee posted a video on YouTube showing a staff member abusing food at the fast food restaurant.
To read more and see the CEO response video, click here
Could this have all been avoided?Sure. When we work with brands whether they are regional or national, the first thing we encourage is the creation of a social media policy.
Some of the policies are as simple as "Be Nice." When you think about it, that really covers most issues. Another has been "Don't do anything you wouldn't want to tell your mom about." Unfortunately, these days that doesn't really cover everything.
Most companies, however, have a document that is drafted by legal and very clearly defines exactly what is and is not allowed. All the way down to some subjects that require corporate approval before posting a reply.
No company today can afford to not have a social media section included in their employee handbook. Even if your company isn't online, you can guarantee your employees are.
We learned this lesson a few years ago and in a very painful way. One of our team members at the time had a picture on her My Space page engaged in activity that I am quite certain she would not do in front of her mother (body shots). With a number of churches as clients there was a potential for a very large problem.
Our policy is very simple:
1 - No discussion of clients at all
2 - No trash talking about co-workers
3 - No nudity or blatant profanity
It might be simple but it pretty much covers most circumstances.
How to handle Social Media in the workplace:
1 - Participation Policy - Set up a social media policy and educate everyone on the importance of social media and maintaining an appropriate reputation.
2 - Usage Policy - When can employees go online? Is it considered a work exercise or personal time?
3 - Reputation Monitoring - Who is watching online for mentions of the company and employees in each of these spaces? Domino's problem would have been non-existent if they had noticed the video before one million people viewed it.
If Domino's had followed these simple steps, they could have avoided most of the headache that they have had to face for the past week.
Is your company ready? Do you have a social media policy in place? If not, you need one, today.
The Russo Group
This is an incredibly humbling experience and I recommend it for every parent that wants to really appreciate how hard their teacher works. And how little their big important job is to a group of kids.
It started easy enough.
I went "on" after the nurse. Figure that she had probably scared the heck out of them with her talk of being sick and having to get immunized. Surprisingly, six year olds are actually not very fond of shots.
So, I thought I would have it made. Not so much.
First of all, the concept of branding is really hard for a six year old to grasp. I forgot the first rule in advertising - speak to your consumer in their language.
Luckily, we have done quite a bit of work for Feld Entertainment over the years so we started talking about Ringling Brother's Circus and Playhouse Disney as well as Disney on Ice and the Wiggles. Now I had their attention - as fleeting as that might be.
The merchandise seemed to really get their attention. When they could see and touch a dvd or blanket they were engaged.
Then the class really got interested when we talked about jingles. It was amazing.
This group of 19 excited and rambunctious kids all immediately sat still and started thinking of "songs" that they had heard on tv.
Now advertising made sense to them.
One by one they started naming different jingles and then singing them.
"Give me that vanilla fish, give me that fish" (McDonald's Fillet of Fish)
"I can go go go on my hover round. Indoors out all over town." (HoverRound)
"Five dollar foot long. Five dollar foot loooong." (Subway)
They really came to life when we talked about these jingles. They knew the words (for the most part). They responded to the music. They knew the products.
What happened to jingles?
There were great ones:
"Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz. Oh what a relief it is."
"Rice A Roni. The San Francisco Treat."
"My bologna has a first name it O-s-c-a-r, My bologna has a second name it M-a-y-e-rOh I love to eat it every day And if you ask my why I'lll saaaaaaay,Cause Oscar Mayer has a way with B-o-l-o-g-n-aaaaaaaaa"
What jingles do you remember? Which ones got stuck in your head and you couldn't get them out? Ahh, the good old days.
I was surprised and disappointed to read an article by Mike Hughes, President of The Martin Agency, "Do Some Good: Create Newspaper Ads" begging advertising agencies to spend money on newspaper ads. Seriously? I appreciate that his agency serves as the Agency of Record for the Newspaper Association of America. I realize that he is serving his client by spreading the gospel of newspaper. But seriously.To spend money in newspapers today, as they are losing subscribers and readers by the day is a mistake. This has been a very hard concept for a number of designers who love the elegance of a well crafted print ad as well as to a number of readers who can't imagine not having the experience of starting the day with a cup of coffee and the morning newspaper.
Now, to be perfectly honest, I can’t claim to be the biggest fan of professional baseball, but it would be hard not to appreciate its affect on our history, culture and national identity. Names like Ruth, DiMaggio, Aaron and Mantle live on to this day, reminding us of baseball’s glorious past.
In recent years though, baseball has taken quite a beating. Sure, stadiums still get filled and jerseys still sell, but for the most part, baseball has begun to lose its luster. If you want proof of this, all you need to do is turn on your TV. It seems that every day there is a new contract dispute, allegation of steroid use or the demolition of another historic ballpark. Unfortunately, baseball seems to have lost its way. They have forgotten their promise to their fans, their history and their legacy.
But there is hope.
This past Saturday I attended the opening day ceremonies of my son’s Little League, and over the course of the next few hours, witnessed why generation after generation of Americans remain loyal to the game. And even though the world of professional baseball seems to have forgotten them, they have refused to forget the game.
The reality is, baseball does not live in million dollar stadiums, but rather, in small parks and in small towns all over the country. There, people are reminded of a time when all of the problems of the world could be solved on a baseball field. All that was needed was a glove, ball, bat and a few good friends – something I was able to experience as I watched 300 young boys line up on the diamond for the season’s first pitch.
Hats were placed over each of the player’s hearts as the anthem played on this cool spring morning – each of them dreaming of making that one great play on the field. I doubt many of them were worrying about future contracts, the media or deciding whether or not to cheat in order get ahead. No, I think they were simply enjoying the game itself.
While the brand of professional baseball may be damaged, it is not beyond repair. In order to fix it though, the powers that be must remind themselves of their promise to their fans. Their promise to not only produce good baseball, but to also protect an American treasure that each year gets further and further out of control. They must remind themselves of what it was like to play the game when it was still just a game.
Michael J. Russo
The Russo Group
To be clear, I met with some very bright students who showed great promise – but for the most part, their work failed to embrace the modern trends in our industry and culture, and more importantly, the creative spirit that students normally display. Basically, I wasn’t wowed. So, what’s the deal?
I know the next part of this will sound like and old dad who tells his kids how they don’t know how good they have it – followed by the story of how I walked to school in the snow, uphill, both ways. Never the less, when I went to school, we were challenged every day – learning that through quantity comes quality. Whether being assigned 300 logos on the first day of class, or hand lettering entire paragraphs of copy with a rapidograph pen, we learned quickly that hard work was the key to success. Our often hated and sometimes loved instructor, Mr. Dutch Kepler – or simply, Dutch, gave these assignments to us, which at the time seemed pointless.
Dutch and I had many battles during my senior year, which on several occasions had him politely asking me to leave his class for the day. I say politely, but it was probably more like, “Russo, get the hell out of my sight.” I like to think there was always a lesson buried beneath his rants. Perhaps he was teaching me to be passionate about my work, or perhaps he expected more. Either way, it forced me to decide whether I was ready for this profession. This meant long hours, sleepless nights, and a commitment to dig deep in the pursuit of excellence – no computers and no fancy photoshop filters, just the eternal search for the best idea.
Unfortunately, these same principles seem to have been lost in recent years. I see it every day – recent graduates with poorly put together books, resumes with typos, and expectations of a corner office and the keys to a ready-made career. Few seem to understand the process of learning the trade, or the responsibility that comes when someone entrusts you with the future of their business.
So, I would like to challenge those still in pursuit of a career in advertising or design, to raise the bar a bit, and get serious about what lies ahead. I would like to also thank Dutch for that 300 logos project on the first day of class. It made me realize that we have to believe we can do the impossible in order for us to make the impossible happen.
Michael J. Russo
The Russo Group