2.Uluslararası İtibar Yönetimi Konferansı - Crisis Communication Management via Corporate Website - Asst. Prof. Ahmed Farouk Radwan


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2.Uluslararası İtibar Yönetimi Konferansı - Crisis Communication Management via Corporate Website - Asst. Prof. Ahmed Farouk Radwan

  1. 1. Crisis Communication Management via Corporate Website Asst. Prof. Ahmed Farouk Radwan University of Sharjah 2.Uluslararası İtibar Yönetimi Konferansı 3-4 Ekim 2013, İstanbul
  2. 2. Crisis Communication Management via Corporate Website A case study of Toyota recall crisis 2010 Ahmed Farouk Radwan Assistant Professor Public Relations Department , College of Communication University of Sharjah – UAE aradwan@sharjah.ac.ae
  3. 3. • Toyota had one of the worst crises that a corporation may encounter. Towards the end of 2009, millions of cars had to be recalled to deal with braking defects in the service centers. • In 2010, the carmaker had to apologize for the defects and the car recall after the American administration clearly criticized the corporation. • Toyota, employed its website to deal with the car recall crisis .
  4. 4. • This study aims at identifying the way the website is used to deal with the crisis, which constituted a challenge for the corporate reputation, growth and status in the market. •Toyota Motor Corporation •Toyota Motor Corporation, is a Japanese multinational automaker headquartered in Toyota, Aichi, Japan. Wikipedia Headquarters: Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, Japan Founder: Kiichiro Toyoda Founded: August 28, 1937 CEO: Akio Toyoda www.toyota.com
  5. 5.  Purposes of the Study: – Identifying the ways Toyota website is used to handle the car recall crisis; – Identifying the communication tools that are used through the website; and – Identifying the ways the interactive communicative tools of Toyota website are employed during the crisis.
  6. 6.  Methodology: • The study falls under the Descriptive case study category aiming at monitoring, analyzing and describing the way the corporate website is used to overcome the recall crisis of Toyota. • The study uses the qualitative approach as the researcher analyzes the discourse of the website to identify the features of the communication message encompassed in the website and to identify the communication strategies that are used to overcome the crisis. • The researcher analyzed the main website of Toyota (http://www.toyota.co.jp), the press room (http://pressroom.toyota.com) and the Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/toyota).
  7. 7. Main Results  The Corporate Crisis-Related Goals as Announced on the Website • Stressing that the main goal of the corporation is to repair the defects that are discovered in some models • Explaining the defects and how they can be fixed.
  8. 8.  Crises Communication Strategies • Apology • The corporation apologized through its president and top administrative staff for the clients for the defects that were discovered on some models. • The apology was accompanied with: • Direct apology for the defects. • Asking the clients to give the company another opportunity . • Thanking the clients for understanding.
  9. 9. • Corrective Actions • The company announced a number of corrective actions to fix the defects that were discovered in some models. The corrective actions included: • Car recall. • Announcing the phone numbers and emails of the corporation, service centers. • Stressing that the repair would not take long. • Stressing that the service centers and the mechanics were professionals, well-trained to fixing such defects. • Explaining the mechanical process of fixing the defects.
  10. 10. • Announcing the New Corporate Policies • The corporation announced during that period a number of policies to support the capacity of the company. • The policies focused on the following: • Announcing the corporate standards for applying transparency, information availability, quality assurance and customer service; • Announcing offering additional check-up, repair and maintenance for affected cars; • Foregrounding the Support and Cooperation of Other Agency. • Foregrounding the Social Corporate Responsibility.
  11. 11. • Changing the Negative Connotation of Recall • The company attempted to change the negative connotations of the word ‘recall.’ • The positive understanding of the word depended on the following: • Recall is a commitment of the company before its clients. • Recall reflects the desire of the company to apply quality standards. • Recall reflects the tendency of the company toward its clients. • Recall reflects the company’s quick response to problems.
  12. 12. Communication Tools Used on the Website • The communication tools used on the website were various. These tools can be classified as follows: • Press releases . • Reports. • Video. • Photos. • Links . • Chatting. • Social Media
  13. 13. Message from Chief Executive • The website includes a message from the Chief Executive of Akio Toyota published on July 2012. The message includes the following points: • The title of the message reflected the attitude of the company to turn over a new leaf with its clients. • The president thanked all the people and agency which supported the company during the crisis. • He apologized for what Toyota caused of the clients’ worries over the cars’ quality and safety. • He thanked the distributors for commitment to sell Toyota and convince the clients of its worthiness. • He thanked the employees for their efforts to regain stability once more.
  14. 14. Press Releases • The press releases issued during that period can be classified as follows: • Press releases which focused on the technical problems. They explained the problems that were discovered in some cars, and how the driver should handle them. • Press releases that were published in the period following the start of the process of car repair. These press releases focused on the development initiatives that the company undertakes to produce cars which are safer, more appropriate and of higher quality.
  15. 15. Social Media • The company used its Facebook page to invite the users to contribute by writing his/her story with Toyota and its role in his/her life on the page, which reinforces the relation between the clients and the company and showed how important Toyota was in their daily life.
  16. 16. Video • The website included a number of video files with TV material as follows: • 1. TV commercial stressing the importance of safety. The commercial used the slogan ‘Safety First.’  2. TV commercial that aimed at demonstrating the clients’ trust in the company.
  17. 17. • 3. Programs and meetings video recorded with officials in the company stressing the following:  Forming a team to solve the mechanical problems in the cars  Talking about the repair steps.  The development of Toyota and its keenness to follow quality standards in production and its responsibility toward the clients.  Toyota tests on its cars and the features of the techniques used in the fuel pedal and the efforts of the company to repair and support it.
  18. 18. Questions and Answers • The questions and answers section included a group of enquiries by the clients which dealt with the recall process and the defects that are discovered in the cars. Chat • The company depended on chat with the leaders and officials in the company through the internet using applications such as Chatting and Twitter. The company announced the time and the link for chat.
  19. 19. Conclusion • Toyota used a number of communication strategies to overcome the crisis. It depended on apologizing for the existence of defects in some of the cars. • The company did not only apologize, it also announced corrective actions. Announcing these actions on the website was part of the attempt by the company to maintain its reputation.
  20. 20. • The company used its website to market its efforts and communication activities as the company issued a number of press releases and held a number of press conferences. The company launched a campaign to regain its good image and valued reputation.
  21. 21. • The company made use of the interactive capabilities of the internet as it allowed a chance for its clients to comment on the published material on the web. • The company made use of the social media such as Facebook and Twitter to communicate with the clients in addition to the TV commercials and programs on Youtube.
  22. 22. THANK YOU