Toyota Addresses Effects of Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami

The Story

Production at Toyota Motor Company has been affected by the devastating Japanese earthquake and tsunami.  The video, below, shows the toll, and the company has posted updates about the situation. 

Video source.

Discussion Starters

  • What content is most important for Toyota when addressing the effects of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami on car production?
  • What is at risk for the company's communication about the situation?  What should executives emphasize and avoid in their messages?
  • Assess Toyota's press statement.  In what ways is the company's statement effective, and in what ways is it ineffective? 

Assignment Ideas

  • Complete an audience analysis for internal  and external Toyota audiences. Imagine that you are the VP, marketing, for Toyota and plan to write messages about halting car production for four different audiences: employees, dealers, customers, and the media.  Complete an audience analysis for each group.   
  • Adapt Toyota's press statement for employees.  Write an email to employees to provide the most up-to-date information.