18 February 2010
16 February 2010
11 February 2010
10 February 2010
Today’s USA Today included an article on Toyota’s PR blitz to address the firm’s recent string of quality embarrassments. The article likens Toyota’s efforts to “whistling in the wind”, with the clear implication that the on-going revelations about product quality concerns are overwhelming efforts at outreach. Though this is true, at the moment, it is still incumbent on Toyota to continue the efforts.
Why should Toyota keep up the drumbeat of messages? First of all, some of the communications will get through, even in “windy conditions.” Additionally, once the firm finally reaches the end of the current quality concern path, the public relations pump will have been primed. Any future good news will build on the prior efforts. Finally, despite the apparent futility of the effort in light of additional quality issues coming to light, apologizing and committing to improve are simply the right things for Toyota to do.
Toyota’s current circumstances underscore how significantly PR efforts are tied to the merits of the focus product or service. The best PR implementation will be hampered by issues with the product. By the same token, a great product – one that truly delights consumers – provides a turbo boost to PR. Toyota is hoping to get back to “great product” status as soon as possible. In the meantime, the firm will keep whistling in the wind.