Three Big PR Mistakes
From Bad to Worse
to communicate within.
There are suggestions that Toyota had received worrying complaints about the
sticky accelerators as far back as 2008. If a corporate culture is unwilling
to not only proactively seek out information regarding potential problems,
but even further, fosters an atmosphere of denial, real problems will unveil
a lack of responsibility. Their lack of communication included their own dealers,
who were not prepared when customers brought the cars in. When potential problems
may be safety issues, this is unacceptable. Toyota has been forced to admit
they were aware at least since November; defending their own silence on top
of the safety problems is almost impossible and the fall out will be much longer
of crisis preparedness. It seems reasonable
to conclude that Toyota’s reluctance to see what was
before them is indicative of a lack in anticipating a crisis
could even happen. Even the best and most responsible companies
can and are blindsided by an unfortunate and unforeseen event.
Remember Tylenol’s tampering crisis in 1982? A third
party deliberately contaminated their Extra Strength capsules
with cyanide, killing seven people in Chicago. It was unforeseen
and even rather unimaginable at the time; tamper-resistant
packaging nearly universal today is as a result of the crisis.
practices includes pre-crisis planning:
Management Plan and Process
Update Key Contact Personnel Information
Media Kit and Immediate Online Pressroom Updates
to communicate without. Toyota’s
accelerator problems were already being discussed in the public
realm long before they were acknowledged or spoken to by its
executives. Indeed, Toyota issued a “Voluntary Safety
Recall” for the accelerator issue on January 21, but
Toyota’s President, Akio Toyoda, spoke publicly to the
issue on February 5, more than two weeks after the issuance.
as is possible, get out in front of the story. If you are answering
what has already become the story, you’re defensive. Tylenol
actually used the media to alert consumers, hospitals and other
caregivers of the possible dangers with its product.
with our multiple channels of broadcast, this can be easier than
ever. Use all of these communication vehicles, and use them often.
Post a video of the CEO or very adept spokesperson on your web
site; post blog updates and answer appropriate concerns and questions;
use other social media to broadcast a very concise, very consistent
message. Send email updates. Talk to the media as much as is
possible, even if just to say, “we’re still on it,
we still care.”
you’d like a case study of Tylenol’s PR management
of the tampering crisis, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Growth (Sales) Challenge
all know what kind of year we had in 2009, it was exciting, to
say the least! Riding out the storm is past; now with a new year
upon us, more than ever we need to develop stronger ties with
our customers. A fresh beginning is the answer.
company contacts to talk to you when they are already content
with their current company is tough at best. Change is hard,
so therefore, to successfully create new relationships, you must
make a compelling case why a referral should give you their business.
You are very, very good at something. Craft your message with
the back-to-basics emphasis on what you are very, very good at
in order to be heard. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
is indicating that it can take up to 30 contacts to turn a prospect
into a client. Many sales people may not have been willing to
commit the time and effort necessary to develop new referral
relationships, but a new world is upon us! Focus and be patient
and take one step at a time.
repeatable, predicable and planned contacts are the way to succeed.
a process, you can easily stay in contact long enough to get
the connection and then the order. A systematic follow up plan
simplifies your job by enabling you to execute on an efficient
approach, positioning you as an expert. The thing you are very,
very good at will be very, very valuable to your new clients.
Welcome new decade!