Effective Communication Case Study

1255 words - 6 pages

A crisis that occurs in a business is a problem that disrupts the way an organization conducts business and attracts significant new media coverage and public scrutiny. These crises can cause a company to have negative financial, legal, political, or government repercussions on a company if not dealt with promptly and properly. A crisis seems to occur at the most unexpected time and can take an organization by complete surprise. Effective communication is important in handling a crisis within an organization. The case study: "There's a syringe in my Pepsi can!" will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of communication among PepsiCo and its publics.In the summer of 1993, PepsiCo found ...view middle of the document...

Alpac conducted an investigation and found nothing that would allude to the cans of Diet Pepsi being tampered with on the filling line. These findings did not stop the complaints or the growing media coverage on the issue. PepsiCo decided they needed to get involved and do so on a national level. The response centered on four principles. The first principle is to put public safety first. Pepsi needs to look at the problem through the eyes of the public and address their concerns. The second principle is to find the problem and fix it. Pepsi does not feel that the problem was within the production facilities so they need to investigate and respond to all complaints. The third principle is to communicate frequently, quickly, and regularly. The company needs to make sure that they make sure they use both broadcast and print communication tools to their advantage. The final principle is to take full responsibility for resolving the crisis. The company needs to make sure to not point fingers or blame others for this crisis.The crisis coordinator for the company identified four primary publics to address. The four publics were the news media, customers, consumers, and the employees and local Pepsi-Cola bottlers. The news media, customer, and consumers , all external publics, need to be assured that the Pepsi products are safe and the company will do what it needs to in order to prove this and gain back the trust of the public. The employees and bottlers, the internal publics, also need to be assured but for different reasons. The company needs to assure the employees and bottlers that there was no fowl play internally and the management team is behind their employees and the products they produce 100%. PepsiCo decided not to bring in an outside crisis communication consultant, instead the company thought it would be in the company's best interest to keep everything within the company. To address the publics, Pepsi used many internal resources such as public affairs, customer relations, scientific and regulatory affairs, sales and marketing, manufacturing and legal. The public affairs department was ready to respond to media inquiries and provide updates on facts and developments. A 24-hour toll-free hot line was manned by Customer Relations to take calls from consumers with questions and comments. The Scientific and Regulatory Affairs department assigned technical and quality assurance specialists to work with the FDA to track each complaint. Sales and Marketing employees made sure the relationships with customers who sold...

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