Positivity After A Crisis Brands and Individuals Seize an Opportunity for Positive PR Chen tweeted to Sina Weibo that for any of his followers who had their Japanese car smashed during rioting, he would replace it. Japanese cars were targeted during a spate of anti-Japan protests. FAW Toyota and Canton Steam Toyota were also quick to offer compensation packages to customers whose car was damaged.SummaryIn September, rioting against the Japanese governments purchase of the Diaoyu Islands erupted in many cities across China. Rioters in the streetssoon turned their violent anti-Japan protests against Japanese car brands. Chen Guangbiao, who became Chinas most famous philanthropist with hishigh-profile contributions to Sichuan Earthquake victims in 2008, took to Sina Weibo on Sept. 18 th to promise a new car to each of his followerswhose own Japanese car had been smashed. Toyota also published compensation schemes for the owners of attacked cars. 3
Positivity After A Crisis From Crisis Comes Opportunity Case 1 Chen Guangbiao held a ceremony to hand over 43 new (Chinese) “Geely Emgrand” cars to replace smashed Japanese ones. “Geely Emgrand” grew significantly in the wider public’s awareness, generating a substantial volume of positive comments . Toyota’s “Zero Burden” Case 2 compensation plan was widely promoted on television and online. The activity had a significant and positive effect on Toyota’s brand image amongst Chinese netizens at a sensitive time for Japanese business in China. It established a sense among netizens that Toyota is a caring and supportive company.CIC ViewAs we move through the “Web 2.0” era, crises and opportunities can be fleeting but eminently powerful.Seeking Opportunities: Although a brand may have no direct association with a hot topic or event, through ongoing monitoring clever positioning it can leverage this opportunity,as in Case 1, to bolster brand image and generate awareness.Respond to Crises: Negative events can befall even the best prepared brands. However, if a brand has the tools and training to recognize an emerging crisis take swift andpositive action, as in Case 2, they can actually generate a positive image and establish their good reputation in the long term. 4
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