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