Domino’s Pizza was embroiled in a viral crisis situation when two rogue employees posted videos of adulterated food on YouTube in April 2009. Tim McIntyre, Vice President of Communications, was part of the internal team that delivered the company’s crisis communication plan through Twitter and YouTube. What makes this story so compelling is the social media aspect of both the crisis itself and the strategy for managing the crisis.
A response latency methodology was developed and used to assess spokesperson effectiveness. Results indicate that when a product identification decision was primed by a correct spokesperson name, subjects were able to identify product names as such significantly faster than when the decision was unprimed or misprimed. Based on the results of the latency experiment, characteristics of successful spokespersons were identified using multiple regression. Theoretical and methodological implications of the response latency technique are discussed.