Effective Communication Case Study

Essay by eshlaUniversity, Bachelor'sA, March 2007

download word file, 5 pages 3.0

A crisis that occurs in a business is a problem that disrupts the way an organization conducts business and attracts significant new media coverage and public scrutiny. These crises can cause a company to have negative financial, legal, political, or government repercussions on a company if not dealt with promptly and properly. A crisis seems to occur at the most unexpected time and can take an organization by complete surprise. Effective communication is important in handling a crisis within an organization. The case study: "There's a syringe in my Pepsi can!" will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of communication among PepsiCo and its publics.

In the summer of 1993, PepsiCo found itself in a fast, widespread news story during that time. Multiple claims of foreign objects being found in unopened cans of Diet Pepsi were surfacing. On June 9, 1993, a couple from Tacoma, Washington claimed they found a used syringe in a half-empty can of Diet Pepsi.

The couple turned the can over to their lawyer who in turn contacted the health department. The following day a report of the incident was broadcasted on a local television station. Two days after the initial incident, a second needle claim was made in Washington. Local media picked up the story and added that there have been no reports of injury in either case. On June 12 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a five-state consumer alert. This alert asked all consumers to pour soft drinks into a cup before consuming. The FDA did not recommend recalling the Diet Pepsi soft drink at this time. The next day, there was another claim of a syringe found in a can of Diet Pepsi but this time the claim came from a consumer in New Orleans. By June 16 there have been...