Motoring giant needs perfect recall
Toyota turned to Wright Communications for counsel and media management when manufacturing problems threatened its reputation.
When Toyota New Zealand was swept up in the global corporate
giant's unprecedented vehicle recalls at the end of 2009, it turned
to Wright Communications for expert crisis counsel to ensure damage
to its trusted brand was minimised. The requirements included
high-level strategic advice for senior Toyota managers, and timely,
transparent, and effective communication with customers, internal
and external stakeholders, and the media.
The Wright solution
Wright Communications devised a multi-prong crisis
communications plan, with Toyota New Zealand Chief Executive
Alistair Davis as its focal point. This had to get the company's
key messages to the crucial audience of customers, dealers, the
general public, and other stakeholders. Communication had to be up
front and open, and encompass a variety of methods including direct
letter, email and phone, and media releases. For the duration of
the crisis, which lasted several weeks at its height, Managing
Director Nikki Wright was on call for personal counsel. A dedicated
Wright team helped Alistair pen an opinion editorial for national
distribution, drafted media releases in liaison with Toyota's
senior managers, and facilitated a throng of media interviews. The
team closely monitored overseas media coverage.
From an interview on TVNZ's breakfast NZI Business to an opinion
piece in the New Zealand Herald, Toyota's strong media presence put
the recalls in context. Pleasingly, respected independent brand
surveys following the main period of recalls showed little effect
on Toyota's position as New Zealand's most-trusted car brand. In
April, The Independent cited Alistair Davis in a special article on
'Crisis & Recovery' called 'Keeping the wheels on Toyota
Back to Case
Toyota New Zealand began using Wright Communications in 2009 to give us an alternative view on communications strategy; they have delivered fresh thinking and energy for Toyota.
Chief Executive, Toyota New Zealand