Over the weekend, a YouTube video created by two erstwhile Domino's employees made its rounds online, hitting nearly one million viewings at last count. (I wrote about it here). Once Domino's was alerted to the video of two of its employees doing unsanitary (and rather disgusting) things to food ostensibly to be served to customers, they acted swiftly by firing the two employees in question, Kristy Hammonds and Michael Setzer.
However, until yesterday, no response from Domino's was available online; the videos unflattering to the company brand went viral in a matter of days, while Domino's was still forming its response.
By yesterday evening, Domino's had created a Twitter account, @dpzinfo, to stem the tide of outrage in the Twittersphere, posted a short notice to its site (however not on the home page), and, more importantly, Patrick Doyle, Domino's CEO, created his own YouTube video, condemning the former employee's actions as "sickening" and announcing that warrants had been issued for their arrest:
An excellent response in general. It would have been better if it had been issued Monday. To date, this video has been viewed 18,423 times, versus the original videos' near-one-million stats. A swifter response might have stemmed the Twitter tide or the over 200,000 Google Blogsearch results with headlines such as Domino's YouTube Nightmare , Mashable's Domino's YouTube Video: YouTube Can Get You Fired, Too and Brian Solis' catchy PR 2.0: The Domino's Effect.
When you think of things in this light, you can quickly understand why "bad PR" isn't "good PR."
If Domino's had been prepared with a Twitter ID and YouTube presence before the advent of this now-infamous video, dealing with this bad PR would have been a snap. If Domino's had already established relationships with bloggers and Twitter followers prior to the release of the former employee's video, the communication for this crisis wouldn't have taken nearly four days to construct; it could have been addressed within a matter of minutes.
This is the value of social media, in participating in conversations with your public before the PR nightmare hits your brand. Start building those relationships now, and any brand-busting video, blog post or Tweet that hits the web won't be able to make a dent in your credibility or your brand.