The company was faced with the major crisis when one of its most popular products, extra-strength Tylenol capsules were used as murder weapon to kill three people in Chicago on 30 September, 1982. Another three people also dies by consuming the capsules which had traces of cyanide. The PR efforts were successful in reaffirming company’s commitment towards the welfare of the people.
The case study of Johnson & Johnson involved two types of public: internal public comprising of the company’s management and workforce; and external stakeholders like shareholders, public who uses the products, distributors, media and all those who directly or indirectly are impacted by the use and misuse of the products. The timely communication to the public by the Chairman of the company assured them of their fair intention to investigate the issue and to withdraw the lot that was used in the crime. It strengthened company’s credibility amongst its stakeholders.
No, at that time, the company followed the best recourse to rebuild its image. The public messages and appearance of the CEO in the media greatly helped the company to project its stand on the issue. Indeed, Burke’s appearance on the ‘investigative news program 60 Minutes’ was the best strategic exercise in PR that not only convinced the public but also changed the opinion of the media about the company’s future. The projection of its image to the public influenced the factors that have direct implications on issues and define its stand to the issues and the way it is handled by them.
The company used various tools of public relation. PR briefing was used to disseminate important information regarding company’s position vis-à-vis the product, extra-strength Tylenol capsules. Accepting that cyanide was used in its premises was a huge step forward in establishing its credibility and transparency of the company’s functioning in the eyes of its various