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Effective Communication Case Study Analysis

1123 words - 4 pages

Communication can be described as a highway in which information travels in both directions between two or more targets. In Public Relations, those targets are usually an organization and its internal and external publics. During October in the year 1982, Tylenol, whom at the time was the nations leading pain killing medication, seven customers of the company died in Chicago after taking Tylenol's Extra Strength medication. Due to the immediate response and genuine concern of the public, Johnson and Johnson set a standard for crisis management while handling this situation. The purpose of this paper is to present a case study analysis on Tylenol's crisis management plan and analyze how effective they were with communicating to their publics.Internal and External PublicsNews media, customers, retailers, police, and the FDA were the main external publics involved in the Tylenol crisis. While employees, management, and McNeil Consumer Products Company were significant internal publics in the case. The early PR campaign focused on communication with external publics especially the consumer public. Johnson and Johnson wanted the external publics to know that it was doing everything in its power to help the police and FDA with the investigation as well as protecting the consumers and keeping them informed of the situation.The primary internal public associated with the crisis was McNeil Consumer Products Company, the Johnson and Johnson subsidiary that produced Tylenol. By assuming responsibility for its subsidiary Johnson and Johnson effectively displayed corporate integrity. The company showed a united front willing to take any action necessary that would benefit the long-term relationship with its internal publics. This was accomplished with specific PR tools for each internal public; for example, a booklet was made for employees that explained the crisis in detail and what their company was doing to prevent this type of tragedy from happening again.The immediate action and the forthrightness that the company and CEO had about the crisis truly showed that the number one priority was getting the message out there that there was a hazardous product on store shelves. I do not think that there could have been a more effective way to have communicated that message because at first the company had no idea that there was a link between Tylenol and the deaths caused. But once the link was confirmed immediate action took place and you cannot get a better response than an immediate one. Through the entire outcome, the company improved its image by gaining the reputation of being socially responsible. And as mentioned earlier the way that the company handled the situation set the precedent on how to handle a crisis.Communication Tools and TechniquesJohnson and Johnson used a variety of PR tools to help suppress the situation. The PR tools used were extensive and included daily news conferences, printed booklets for employees, and the establishment of an 800...

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