In our last post about the media being mean, I talked about the media making up news about Tiger Woods when he crashed his truck and hasn’t spoken to the media. Well, here is the next installment (sorry, it’s Toyota’s turn, enough on Tiger).
A few weeks ago there was a report that Toyota was going to recall a bunch of their cars due to a sticking gas pedal. At the time there were no accidents (at least not enough to make the news) attributed to the sticking gas pedal, nobody had been hurt and there was no cause for alarm (other than it was impacting 2.3 million cars). To date, there still aren’t any injuries resulting from the recall/faulty part, but the media storm that has resulted had caused the value of Toyota to drop and is calling into question the “safetyness” of the entire brand! All of this came around before the CEO of Toyota stepped forward, expressed his heart felt regret for the gas pedal recall. Since the apology was issued, the value of Toyota has gone back up and everything seems to have settled into a regular recall of car parts.
What does all of this teach us?
Before the CEO came out with the apology, we saw the media going nuts about the recall and how it was going to be a long-term black eye against the most reliable car manufacturer in the world. Since the apology, the wind has been taken out of the sails of the media and they have left Toyota alone to complete the repairs to the gas pedal. These exact steps need to be taken by you (and your company) whenever something like this happens. Address the problem, make amends and go about fixing the problem before it festers so far out of control that you’ll never recover. Keep your customers up to date about the facts and don’t let the media dictate to your customers about your disaster.
As a note: Tiger Woods is still the top brand by an athlete.
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