These are some of the successful Crisis Management case studies.
Tylenol (Johnson & Johnson):
In the fall of 1982, a murderer added 65 milligrams of cyanide to some Tylenol capsules on store shelves, killing seven people, including three in one family. Johnson & Johnson recalled and destroyed 31 million capsules at a cost of $100 million. The affable CEO, James Burke, appeared in television ads and at news conferences informing consumers of the company's actions. Tamper-resistant packaging was rapidly introduced, and Tylenol sales swiftly bounced back to near pre-crisis levels (Dezenhall, 2004).
Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson was again struck by a similar crisis in 1986 when a New York woman died on Feb. 8 after taking cyanide-laced Tylenol capsules. Johnson & Johnson was ready. Responding swiftly and smoothly to the new crisis, it immediately and indefinitely canceled all television commercials for Tylenol, established a toll-free telephone hotline to answer consumer questions and offered refunds or exchanges to customers who had purchased Tylenol capsules. At week's end, when another bottle of tainted Tylenol was discovered in a store, it took only a matter of minutes for the manufacturer to issue a nationwide warning that people should not use the medication in its capsule form (Rudolph, 1986).
When Odwalla's apple juice was thought to be the cause of an outbreak of E. coli bacteria, the company lost a third of its market value. In October 1996, an outbreak of E. coli bacteria in Washington State, California, Colorado and British Columbia was traced to unpasteurized apple juice manufactured by natural juice maker Odwalla Inc. Forty-nine cases were reported, including the death of a small child. Within 24 hours, Odwalla conferred with the FDA and Washington state health officials; established a schedule of daily press briefings; sent out press releases which announced the recall; expressed remorse, concern and apology, and took responsibility for anyone harmed by their products; detailed symptoms of E. coli poisoning; and explained what consumers should do with any affected products. Odwalla then developed - through the help of consultants - effective thermal processes that would not harm the products' flavors when production resumed. All of these steps were communicated through close relations with the media and full-page newspaper ads (Dwyer, 1998).
Mattel Inc., America's biggest toy maker, has been plagued with more than 28 product recalls and in Summer of 2007, amongst problems with exports from China, faced two product recalls in two weeks. The company “did everything it could to get its message out, earning high marks from consumers and retailers. Though upset by the situation, they were appreciative of the company's response. At Mattel, just after the seven a.m. recall, announcement by federal officials, 16 public relations staffs were set to call reporters from the forty biggest media outlets. They told each to check their e-mails for a news release outlining the recalls and also invited them to a teleconference call with executives and scheduled TV appearances or phone conversations with Mattel's chief executive. The Mattel CEO Robert Eckert did fourteen TV interviews on a Tuesday in August and about twenty calls with individual reporters. By the week's end, Mattel had responded to more than 300 media inquiries in the U.S. alone” (Goldman and Reckard, 2007).
Goh, M. H. (2016). A Manager’s Guide to Implement Your Crisis Management Plan . Business Continuity Management Specialist Series (1st ed., p. 192). Singapore: GMH Pte Ltd.
Extracted from Success CM Stories
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