Communication Case Study Analysis: There's A Syringe In My Pepsi Can! Mkt438

1797 words - 8 pages

Effective communication between an organization and its publics is key component of crisis management. Organizations must see the importance of releasing the right information to both internal and external publics to minimize negative publicity and negative public reaction. In today's marketplace organizations have to make a concerted effort to manage a crisis situation or inevitably the media will. A crisis such as the Pepsi Case Study: There's a Syringe in My Pepsi Can! can and will interrupt the flow of an organizations business.The intent of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of communication between the PepsiCo and the organizations intended publics, differentiate ...view middle of the document...

In a week's time, more than 50 allegations of foreign objects being found in Pepsi products, including one from a reporter for the Milwaukee Journal, had been reported to the police, media and FDA (Center & Jackson, 2003, p 325).Publics InvolvedCrisis coordinator, PepsiCo Vice President of Public Affairs Becky Madeira, identified the four primary publics to be addressed. These publics included the news media, customers who purchased the product for retail sale, consumers, and the organizations employees and bottlers (p. 328).Internal and External PublicsFraser Seitel (2004) defines internal publics as those publics that, "…are inside the organization: supervisors, clerks, managers, stockholders, and the board of directors" (p.9). In the PepsiCo case study the internal publics included the organizations employees, bottling employees, stockholders, and the board of directors. The author further defines external publics as, "…those not directly connected with the organization: the press, government, educators, customers, suppliers, and the community" (p. 9).Impact of communicationPepsiCo's constant communications, including video news releases, print and broadcast media, television appearances, and perhaps most important communication of the Federal Drug Administration's (FDA) third party opinion that the contamination could not have happened on the filling line, had a positive impact on both internal and external publics. The impact of PepsiCo's communications on the public was indeed positive when one considers that, "The week of the hoax, sales dipped only 3 to 4 percent . . ." (p 326).Effective CommunicationSome claim that the message could have been communicated more effectively. Initially, believing that the incident was local and would not become a national story, PepsiCo allowed the local bottler Alpac Corporations to handle the subsequent communications and investigation. Alpac and the FDA determined that the tampering could not have happened on the production line, however, these findings did not stop the media frenzy surrounding the reports and as the alleged contaminations began to materialize outside of the Washington area PepsiCo became involved on a national level. Some critics claim that the organization should have been involved from the first day while others believe that there should have been an immediate recall of the product. Madeira herself admits that "…things might have been handled better, but points out "time was the enemy. It took us time to conduct the investigation in the plants, await FDA conclusions, and then get the information together to answer all the questions" (p 330).PR communication tools and techniquesThe PR communication tools and techniques used by PepsiCo to inform influence and motivate the publics included print and broadcast media, video news releases (VNR), press releases, charts, diagrams and video of the filling line production process, public affairs, consumer relations...

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