A blog dedicated to the world of broadcast and public relations
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Sticky Situation: How Toyota Could Have Harnessed the Power of Radio in its Time of Crisis
Imagine you’re behind the wheel of your Toyota vehicle. Having just heard that accelerator pedals may stick, and your car is one of the millions and millions affected. The company has frozen sales of this model, your model, but there is nothing planned to make your car safe.
Not only should Toyota have communicated more openly and with certitude about its plan to make current drivers safe. Why not use the very medium people are listening to while they are driving in your product? According to Arbitron, radio reaches more than 90% of people 12 and older weekly. In fact, radio has a higher penetration than television, magazines, newspapers or the Internet, yet the CEO of Toyota USA made his announcement about the pedal fix exclusively on the Today Show?
Radio’s immediacy could have helped get the word out quickly about a safety issue that is consuming the company. It might also have quelled criticisms that the company wasn’t doing enough outreach to the public quickly enough.