Crisis Communication Paper

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Crisis Communication Paper

University of Phoenix
COM 352
Stephen D. Kempisty
February 7, 2011

Crisis Communications
In time of crisis, a public relations specialist must pull a specific strategy for each audience and understand how each audience it is going to react to this strategy. The public relations specialist needs to watch and analyze the audience to determine if its strategy is effective or not. If the strategy chosen it is not providing the results expected the specialist should make a smart move and change his plan. For this reason it is extremely important to always have a public relations specialist in every organization because it is essential that in a time of crisis there is an expert who will know how to handle the situation. In the case of Toyota, this is a company with a solid foundation that has been in the market for more than 20 years, but unfortunately last year had to face a time of crisis after a California Highway Patrol officer died along with his family because of a faulty accelerator pedals on the automobile. Benefits and Risks of using Strategies

After the incident, Toyota tried to find a solution for the issue and its spokespeople sent messages out to the media assuring the public of the quality its products. These measurements were an effort to win back the good reputation that they had prior to this incident. Toyota felt it was necessary to suspend the production of eight of its most popular units to focus on finding a solution to the problem with its automobiles. Toyota Public relations campaign was considered a one of the best public relations campaign in years because their strategy was based on proper decisions and cautiousness to promote the peace of mind of its consumers. When an organization is diffusing a crisis five paramount principles exist: (1) define the risk for each potentially affected audience; (2) describe the actions that mitigate the risk; (3) identify the case of the risk; (4) demonstrate responsible management action and finally, (5) create a consistent message,” (Seitel 387) In this case Toyota was successful in diffusing the situation because their strategy included all five of these crucial principles. Toyota relied heavily on the use of public relations to reaffirm to its consumers that the company’s main priority was the safety of their customers and not and not making a profit. Toyota chose to use public relations because it allowed the company to target specifically its customers and critics through press releases, speeches, and blogs to explain the reality of the problem and how they plan to fix the issues. According to BNET-CBS ORGANIZATION (2010), “In the immediate aftermath of the siege of negative publicity and news coverage on the recall crisis, Toyota embarked on an intensive media ad campaign that centered on company concerns for public safety regarding the affected car models and ensured owners that immediate repairs would be available, at no cost, at dealers throughout the U.S. and worldwide. The ads, which aired on prime-time television, the internet and national newspapers, sought to insure public confidence in the Toyota Brand, although a huge amount of money was spent on advertising” (Business Publications, para. 7). The only risk in Toyota’s campaign was that the company’s main focus was on saving face and trying to reverse the negative impact of the recall on the company. Toyota did not focus on their loss and how their stocks were going down in the stockholders market. In time of crisis the management should always focus on the efforts of minimizing potential loss and balance the economic situation of the organization. Were these strategies effective or ineffective? Explain your answers. Luckily Toyota started this recall catastrophe with a very loyal customer base and extremely good reputation. Using an intensive public relations campaign strategy and the five paramount principles of diffusing a crisis has been very...
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