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October 10, 2012
Tylenol Reprised With James Burke's Passing
 
Sometimes the best way to learn is to "relive," that is, reprise, a challenging PR situation that was handled well. Fortune makes that possible in the case of the 1982 Tylenol poisonings in which James E. Burke, CEO of Johnson & Johnson, Tylenol's maker, handled a dire challenge with "business acumen and empathy," and brought the company to new heights. Fortune's article on the Tylenol killings is reprised on the occasion of Mr. Burke's death on September 28 at 87. 

Bottles of Tylenol that had been tampered with killed seven people in the Chicago area 30 years ago this month. A grimmer PR crisis can hardly be imagined. 

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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