Thursday, April 16, 2009

ADMAVEN Interviews Domino's: An Insider's Perspective

I had the opportunity to interview Phil Lozen of Domino's regarding social media and their recent public relations fiasco. Mr. Lozen currently operates the Twitter account @dpzinfo Domino's set up to discuss the offending videos, and has been empowered to reach out to online communities regarding the brand. The circumstances are difficult for Domino's, but may result in other large fast food chains jumping on board the social media marketing bandwagon.

I want to thank Mr. Lozen for his time and interest in reaching out to ADMAVEN readers.

For further background information, videos, and discussions surrounding Domino's plight, read my previous article.

Inerview transcript:

Please tell us your name, job title, and number of years at Domino's corporate headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Phil Lozen, Web Designer 10 years at Dominos.

Things must have been very tense at your offices in the last 48 hours. How did Mr. Doyle, President of Domino's USA, decide to craft a response video, and what were his initial feelings regarding social media engagement?

There was a whole team of people who really came together in the last couple days to respond to this incident. Our PR department, led by Tim McIntyre, along with our Precision Marketing Group, led by Rob Weisberg, all played a part in our response. The suggestion for a video response came from a several people and Patrick was glad to help out. He’s a very smart guy and he saw the importance of us being where our customers were talking.

Domino's is a pretty big company and seems to be targeting a relatively young, Internet savvy demographic. How do you justify staying away from earned media (social media) for so long?

We haven’t stayed away from social media. We have a Brand channel on YouTube and a Facebook page with over 200,000 followers.

While many of our senior PR and Marketing team members are active representatives of Domino’s Pizza in Twitter, one challenge we faced over the past few days was that we didn’t have a corporate Twitter page. The “Dominospizza” Twitter name had already been taken and we were already in the process of working with Twitter to reclaim the name before this video surfaced.

How did the word come down that you would be responsible for handling Twitter, blog outreach, etc...?

Though this crisis did not drive our entrance into social media it certainly put our social media into the spotlight.

I work in our communications/PR department. Our department was best suited to maintain the dialogue with consumers.

Now that Domino's has a healthy respect for the social space, is budget being allocated beyond your time to target and engage online communities in 2009/10?

We’ve always has a healthy respect for social media. Budget was allocated back in 2008 for social media outlets. We continue to invest in 2009 and have plans to do so in 2010 and beyond.

To that end, what other communities are you targeting online for outreach and communication? Are you being proactive at this point or strictly reactive?

We are proactively communicating in a number of communities, however this event certainly required a reactive stance as well.

What advertising or public relations agencies have been instrumental in your social media crisis management?

Our PR team is housed here at Domino’s Pizza. Our ad agency, Crispin, Porter and Bogusky, has been there with us every step of the way.

What software do you use to manage/monitor Twitter and other social media outlets? Do you manage while mobile and if so, what device do you use?

I use a mix of Tweetdeck, Twhirl, and for the most part. I also have capabilities on my iPhone, right now using Twitterfon.

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