It’s a Big Headache…Excedrin

I currently have a headache, and it’s not one that Excedrin can solve. It is one that actually Excedrin created. If you are not familiar with the situation there was a mix up at the Excedrin plant and prescription pain killers were mixed in the nonprescription pain killer. This intern caused a voluntary recall of all the outstanding medications. When you go to find Excedrin, all forms, have been removed from store shelves. It is virtually impossible to find. Some on the Excedrin Facebook page said it would not be back for six month. I explain this because this is the start of the problem so you can see the social media implications.

The Excedrin Facebok page used to let fans post directly to the wall. It was full of messages asking when the OTC drug would be back or where peoples refunds were for returning the product. This was the first two visits to the page. However, after  few days of this Excedrin turned off allowing fans to post on the wall. I know that most posts were these two topics but they have been very vague in responses.

Effective crisis management is built on honesty and openness. I know that they probably feel that the posts were over whelming to manage. However, turning off the wall posts makes people feel their comments aren’t welcome and you aren’t open to them. The posts they make now are over run by people who want to know when the product will be back on the shelves.

Being a Pharmaceutical company the postings are very vague on when the product will be back. They always say something like “we are working very hard to have Excedrin back on shelves soon.” Posts are now consumed with questions, comments about the recall. All of these tent to be off topic.

I give them credit for being honest about the recall and getting information out there. Here are a few more suggestions to let consumers know about the product recall:

  • Inform consumers of what is happening at the plant that was shut down. This is the main plant where the drug is manufactured.
  • Give consumers a general time frame when it will return to store shelves. But, caveat this by saying this time frame may change and lets consumer know when this happens.
  • Find where the drug is available now and inform consumers where they can attain it.
  • Create a forum where customers can voice their complaints, concerns or comments.
  • Focus all posts on the recall. Running page as normal is just angering consumers

This product is very brand loyal. They need to focus on them and devote all info to the latest information on the recall. This will go a long way with consumers in the long run.

Tim is the founder of Element33. A social media agency specializing in education, management and strategy for small businesses. He comes from a traditional marketing agency but has embraced all things digital. He considers himself a marketing nerd and believes that all marketing is tied together. This means no matter what silo you are in, social, email, seach, etc, changes in one will affect the other!

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