Crisis Managers Seek Faster-Acting Relief

Anyone who has received a business or communications degree in the past two decades has certainly read about Johnson & Johnson’s successful handling of the 1982 Tylenol poisoning scare.

While the case is often cited as an exemplar of crisis management, people often forget that it took J&J a full week before it pulled the pain reliever off U.S. shelves.

As Amazon and Domino’s have learned this week, that timing no longer cuts it in today’s social-media culture, in which brands can be decimated in hours, let alone days.

An exec from Domino’s lamented in this morning’s Times: “Even people who’ve been with us as loyal customers for 10, 15, 20 years, people are second-guessing their relationship with Domino’s, and that’s not fair.”

While no one has yet to write this era’s case study for crisis management, one lesson is painfully clear: If you’re not monitoring Twitter and other social media for potential issues, you may have already lost the game.