Tylenol Cyanide Scare – Case Study Analysis

In the Case 6-3, Tylenol Rides It out and Gains a Legacy, Chapter 6, was the one I decided to do my case study analysis on, in which I evaluated the effectiveness of communication between this organization and its publics. Based on my selected
case study, I will evaluate the effectiveness of the

communication between the organization and its intended public(s).This case study is a true story of how seven people died from cyanide put into capsules that people did not realize until too late.

The first item on hand is to identify the different publics involved in the case study. There are two in this case which Tylenol (the company) is the corporation and the public which is the consumers. In having these tragedies happen to seven people in the Chicago area. Were cyanide was put into different capsules and resulting in seven deaths. Trying to figure out how to differentiate between the internal and external publics involved. The internal people would be the CEO, Vice Presidents, Upper management, Lower management and all the employees that worked for the company. The external were the customers, media, and special interest groups. The impact the communications had on the intended public(s) was great. Johnson and Johnson came out right and took the credit for all the problems. The company stood up and told people right away what was happing. By doing this and having a great founder that believed in the corporation and being socially responsible for society had a profound affect to the public. A company that has high ethics is very few and far between. A lot of companies just don’t want anyone to know what they are hiding so they try to sweep it under the rug. The message had been communicated greatly effectively because they as the company took on the public and the answers. They had a crisis and showed that they could handle it in any way. Any problem that was thrown at them they could try their best to fix or at least try to do something about it. Tylenol took pride in their product and in their reputation for integrity and having pride in the public. “. In 2001, the crime remains unsolved. All supplies of the product in stores nationwide were pulled off the shelves by the parent company, Johnson & Johnson, at a cost exceeding $50 million. After due time and investigation, the product was reissued in tamper-resistant containers, and a sealed package of capsules was offered
free to consumers who had discarded the suspect supplies in their possession. The company became a champion of tamper-resistantconsumer product packaging”. (CASE 6-3 A CLASSIC: TYLENOL RIDES IT OUT AND GAINS A LEGACY, 1983) In the echoing events

When I identified the different PR communication tools and techniques that were used to inform, influence, and motivate the public(s) in the Tylenol case. I was able to find a chart that listed all the forms they used below. They used proactive, reactive, strategic of non verbal and verbal words and many listed below in the chart that I have attached. They used strategic planning, News releases, Company profiles, Newsletters, Video services, Crisis Mangament, Speechwrighting. These came in handy because it was important to get the message out there with minumal distractions. Johnson and Johnson by using and following each one with care was able to have a much better out come then actually though.
(Strategic communication process model, 2005)

In evaluating the benefits and risks of using these tools is very risky because the scale can swing either way. By using the methods they chosen could have caused them to either go out of business or keep the business they have and get new clients. The company took a big risk with the decision. If it had gone the other way then we might not have Tylenol here at all. I would think that if they lost then another company would have come out with a similar product and they would have had made the same amount of money. The difference between the both is that this PR campaign and Advertising does not really matter does to the outcome in this century. I don’t think that I would have used other tools because I think that they pretty much did what they could at the time.

If this crisis were to occur today, how would new technologies, such as the Internet, impact this case? It would have impacted very much. With the use of you tube and my space and the internet you can pracatally get instance messaging right on. This may have prevented so many deaths because if we used the internet there would have been instant messaging and I think we would have hit a lot more people in a shorter period of time. I think due to the time Tylenol did all that they could do. Due to the recent globalization of markets, would the outcome of this case be different if the events occurred today? It may have because the markets are mass media and everyone is on the internet and getting information. We might not have as many people die as we did.

The case study was about how Tylenol had the scare with cyanide. It also talked about how seven people died because of it and how Tylenol products survived and they are now even better then ever. In the paper it asked us how we as PR people would improve on the situation and even predict a better outcome. We were asked if we think the internet would improve the outcome or even change the outcome. I think I have answered all the questions to the best of my abilities and have shown how Tylenol handled the situation very well for the time they were in. Not that the time was along time ago but it was before what internet service we have had in this present day of age. In the end I think that the internet would have improved the outcome and may even have saved some life. But what we know now and what we knew then are two different items. We can never go back and change the outcome of such a tragedy. In my case study analysis on, in which I evaluated the effectiveness of communication between this organization and its publics. I have shown the effectiveness on the communication on the public and how it can affect the public in different ways. I have achieved my goal in showing how the internet can play a big role in making a difference between PR now and PR then.

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