Crisis Management Case Study Johnson And Johnson

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In the fall of 1982 an assassin in the Chicago area introduced massive doses of cyanide into a number of Extra-Strength Tylenol bottles, several in Chicago-area pharmacies.

The random poisonings killed seven individuals (including two family members of an initial victim, who consumed the lethal capsules at the home of the victim).

For the past week the Israeli press has been overflowing with accounts of dangerous bacteria being detected in the production facilities of major food companies: first in Unilever/Telma breakfast cereal plants, and upon the heels of that case, those of the Hanasich tehina production company that supplied salad products to various companies and outlets.

Regardless of whether or not criminal negligence can be proven, these cases were characterized by reticence to take responsibility, assumptions on the part of the producers that damage was minimal and would pass, the release of conflicting announcements, withholding (or covering up) critical information, and when matters were discovered, a focus on damage control and media tactics, together with (as I can establish at the time of writing) a failure to adopt a comprehensive strategic plan which would include rectification and rehabilitation.

Communicate with your workers and involve them in your PR efforts.

Crisis Management Case Study Johnson And Johnson

Undertake immediately a long-term strategic rehabilitation plan that will feature safe, quality products at substantial savings.Adopt concrete measures to rectify all shortcomings.Communicate these changes actively and transparently, in an unwavering, unified message.What lessons can the Tylenol crisis teach the companies involved?Crisis planning should take place before a crisis erupts.Parallel to these damage control efforts a crisis management team at the production subsidiary sprung into action and began drafting a longer-term strategic rehabilitation plan for “the days after.” Company spokespersons communicated with the workers to explain to them exactly what had taken place and assure them of the company’s faith in their professionalism and dedication.These employees, in turn, served as sources of information for their immediate family, their neighbors and the medical community. The crisis management team in the Tylenol Crisis immediately studied the lessons learned and drafted a longer-term rehabilitation plan.Though there were those who questioned whether the Tylenol brand name should be used in future pain-relief products, Burke judged that the brand equity was sufficiently strong to overcome this setback.Within a month the company producers devised a unique, foolproof non-tamper bottle for which it alone held the patent, and redistributed Tylenol “caplets” in this new package at a discount.The company’s response has been studied as a model of successful crisis management.It stands in sharp contrast to the way the current Israeli food crises were handled, and its successful outcome may provide a road map for the handling of future crises and a way for rehabilitating some of the brands sullied in the current crisis.


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