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Papa John’s just reminded brand managers and PR pros everywhere that the actions of every single one of your employees are vitally important to your brand. When one person does something stupid, the whole company comes along for the ride.Minhee Cho, a communications manager at ProPublica, went to a Manhattan Papa John’s over the weekend, and was greeted by a surprising description of her on her receipt.
She tweeted a pic of it at the Papa John’s account, saying “Hey @PapaJohns just FYI my name isn’t “lady chinky eyes.”
Hundreds of retweets later, and with upwards of 200,000 views of the receipt on twitpic, Papa John’s had a full-fledged social media crisis to deal with.
It handled it fairly well though. Papa John’s started apologizing profusely on Twitter, and assured everyone that the employee at fault had been terminated immediately.
The spread of outrage was swift, but so was Papa John’s this time. The apology came quickly, but more importantly, its action was immediate — firing the worker.
Brands are held hostage by the actions of their employees. Every employee is a brand representative, so no matter what happens or whose fault it really was, the blame lies on the brand.
Still, there’s fault lying in Papa John’s employee screening process. Every once in a while, you hire an idiot, and that one little mistake can hurt a multi-million dollar brand.
With so many employees coming in direct contact with customers on a daily basis, problems are sure to arise once in a while, but the impact of crises can be lessened if handled correctly.
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