In 1982, I was privileged to work with Johnson & Johnson during the first Tylenol crisis. I was asked to prepare CEO James Burke for the critical “60 Minutes” interview that was a key component in communicating the comeback strategy for the brand and the company. I also worked with other senior executives who fanned out to local markets throughout the US to create a local presence in key cities. Other than SARS and 9/11, I can’t think of another crisis that matches the unique circumstance of Tylenol. This is because J&J and its Tylenol brand did nothing to cause this crisis. In almost all other crises, there is an aspect of what lawyers call contributory negligence to the events. No company or organization willingly causes a crisis.
However, most of the time, there is an event that precipitates the crisis.
Due to the size and scope of its current crisis, some are comparing Toyota to Tylenol. I don’t believe there are many comparisons. Please read the analysis of Toyota vs. Tylenol that appeared in PRNews Online. http://bit.ly/dwZ1gv