Back in the mid-80s, when we all had feathered hair and I had a crush on a boy who worked at Papa Gino’s pizza, the way to get someone’s attention was to order an ORGASM pizza and leave his/her phone number as the pickup number. The gentleman upon whom I was crushing shared the codes the order takers would use for pizza toppings. O for onion, R for pepperoni (Roni), G for green peppers, A for anchovies, S for sausage, M for mushroom. Apparently orders came in to the phone line for this particular combination of toppings and had the home phone number for the chemistry teacher we didn’t think highly of, or the tennis coach who had comments about student’s thighs.
Now we have social media, and bored teenagers working in pizza shops have smartphones with access to the internet. There’s a pretty good case study over here at USC Annenberg on what to do when you’re faced with a crisis as it is presented on social media.
Essentially, a crisis triggers attributions of responsibility to the organization from stakeholders, along three dimensions: 1) whether the crisis has happened before or will likely happen again; 2) whether the event was controllable or uncontrollable by an individual or the organization; and 3) whether the crisis occurs within the organization or external to it. In this case, Domino’s as an organization was not directly responsible for this crisis, as the event occurred internally at the hands of employees, and this type of crisis had never happened before.
It’s an interesting, quick read, showing how you need to balance the rights of the company, the rights of the alleged nitwit teens, and the needs of your consumers when you’re dealing with a worldwide brand.