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The Dominos Prank and ORM

A little warning, this is pretty disturbing. This happened back in April, but it serves to make a very good point both about how viral video works, and online reputation management.

But, the point of my sharing this with you is that it took less than twenty four hours for these two workers’ videos to make it to the very tip top of the Youtube rankings, and incredibly high in other search rankings. Not only that, it spread so quickly that almost every social media and news media outlet picked it up. Before Dominos even knew what was up- they were already everywhere. The update you do not see in this news piece, about this is that particular Dominos franchise branch lost so much business because of this- even once it was out that the two employees in question were fired, that they went under. (Those two employees were, incidentally charged with felony food tampering.)

“Try as he might, the franchisee couldn’t get enough people to come back and the store was no longer viable,” Dominos Spokesperson Tim McIntyre said. “In their attempt to be funny, they left a lot of victims in their wake – the business owner, 20 of their fellow co-workers who are now out of work, community groups that benefited from the store’s outreach programs, on and on.”

The franchisee, Kevin Henderson stated that his business had been hit with a fifty eight percent loss, shortly after the videos made their rounds. Initially, Dominos tactic was to not respond- but that did not work because the videos had already gone viral.

The franchisee had tried a number of things- as did Dominos, to counter it, but failed, ultimately, as you can see. Now, there’s a good lesson in this- there is a preventive side to online reputation management that some do not take as seriously as perhaps they should. Building up a following online, and really gaining the trust that you need to back you when something is negatively said- that’s important. Your web visibility is no longer just something you can do to further your marketing- it may mean more than that in some cases. Hopefully no one has to deal with issues as this Dominos franchisee did, but, there are always people who enjoy using online mediums to really blast companies, businesses and other individuals. While you cannot really control what someone says about your business on the internet- you can have a solid backing in place to prevent it from doing the worst case scenario- this is an aspect that is becoming increasingly important.

Yes, this was simply put a very disgusting and disturbing prank. But for those 20 employees, and for Kevin Henderson- it was much more than that. Understanding how to manage online reputation is very important, not just due to extreme cases like this, but others who have seen dips in their bottom line due to negative reviews and otherwise.