Describe about the Public Relations for Business Relation Activities.
Public relations activities help an organization to develop and maintain its image. Effective conduct of PR during a crisis will salvage the firm's reputation. This paper seeks to come up with Hotrod press release, give reputation recovery strategies recommendations and analyze the image restoration activities regarding the lethal floor mats case.
For Immediate Release
20042 Polk St NE,
Remedy of Brake Override Software
Resolving the Unintended Acceleration problems in Hotrod Car Models
East Bethel, MN: Hotrod Company has today, Tuesday, October 11, 2016, received three investigations report on unintended acceleration cases in our car models. The reports from our internal investigation unit, the local authority and the highway safety administration have independently established brake pedal fault as the cause of the problem.
The reports have identified Buick RX 470 SUV, Buick ES 350S and Hotrod Advantage as the affected models by the brake pedal system. However, the brake issues originate from only one of our suppliers.
We value our customer’s safety on the roads and, hence, have put up effective strategies to solve the problem. We have stopped the sales of the three affected models and recalled of all the cars to fix the brake override system. The Company has decided to part ways with the supplier to ensure no others car models are affected henceforth.
We assure our customers that the other models are safe and, we have installed computer programs to monitor and control any mechanical hitches during driving. Moreover, we are hiring more qualified and competent engineers to enhance cars scrutiny before the release to the market to ensure our customers are safe.
We apologize to our customers and the public for the Situation.
Hotrod Company: Hotrod Company is a car manufacturer firm located in East Bethel Minnesota. The factory design and manufacture various models and distribute them globally. The firm is guided by technology and innovation to enhance safe and comfortable driving.
For further information call Hotrod Factory on 763-413-9333. Customers with enquiries can reach Hotrod factory on email: [email protected]
Hotrod Reputation Recovery Strategies
The Hotrod senior management should apologize for the harm caused to the car owners and the general public. Asserting that the organization will be accountable for the incidents and, asking for forgiveness due to the shortcomings will appeal to the customers’ and public emotions to redeem the factory's reputation. According to Pace, Fediuk & Botero (2010), apology in the eyes of the stakeholders translates to accepting full responsibility for the occurrence of the crisis and benefits the organizations with increased chances of recovering the reputation. Emotions affect how people react to a situation and, Hotrod management should take the initiative to appease the victims and the public emotions to drive them to respond positively. When the organization is perceived responsible and caring after a crisis, it will draw closer the offended stakeholders and salvage its reputation. Assuming responsibilities relate to communicating the organization's initiatives in solving the problem (Coombs & Holladay 2008). Thus, when the organization shows the victims that it is working to resolve the issue, it will build stakeholders trust and confidence again.
The Company leadership can embrace compensation strategy to regain its reputation. The management should Offer monetary and material gifts to victims to help the organization gain the stakeholders trust and restore the company reputation. According to Weiner (2006), compensation as a reducing offensiveness strategy portrays an institution as honest and boosts the reputation recovery initiative. An organization that compensates victims that are seriously harmed appeals to the emotions of the stakeholders through taking responsibility and showing concerns and, this improves positive perception to the firm. Seeger (2006) notes that compensation appeals directly to the victims and, aids in reputation recovery. Hotrod Company will look more genuine in the eyes of the public when it reverts to help victims through treatment funds, catering for the burial expresses for people who succumbed and financial support to the families of the deceased. The initiative will assist the organization regain its customer trust and loyalty.
The Hotrod Company should adopt the reminder strategy to improve the lost reputation. The firm should communicate about the previous status of the organizations to win stakeholders empathy and, enhances the perception of the public to restore the past glory. Coombs (2007) notes that constant reminder of the organization's good work in crisis communications portrays the organization as a victim of the crisis and draw sympathy from the stakeholders. Coming out as a victim in the situations will appeal to the stakeholder’s emotions and drive them to be lenient in their behavior and utterances. The reminder strategy prompts the media to have positive reports of previous organization situations and improve the positive perception of the firm (Holtzhausen & Zerfass 2014). Hotrod factory will enhance its reputation by showing how the crisis affected the organizations through comparison of previous and current situations.
Hotrod Image Restoration analysis
Hotrod’s company explanation in the case of unintended acceleration lacks credibility in the eyes of the stakeholders. The company insists the floor mats are the root cause of the issue without giving much evidence to counter media reports that link the drive-by-wire electronic throttle system to the problem. According to Gibson, Gonzales & Castanon (2006), credibility in public relations is built on the confidence the message receivers have due to the perceived accuracy and truthfulness of the communication. In response to allegations that drive-by-wire system could be the problem, the company merely cites a Highway Safety Administration reports indicating that the agency has refused new investigation on the system after the termination of preliminary investigation prematurely after it recalled floor mat accessories. The explanations lack tangible evidence to make the stakeholders believe it. Moreover, making the details of any investigations public would build the organization credibility. However, Hotrod factory concealed the major part of the 74 pages investigations reports by its suppliers on the drive-by-wire system. Hence, the company did not win the trust of the public and, this makes reputation recovery tough.
Hotrod Company is not telling the truth in response to the crisis. The organization does not come out in an honest manner to own up the technical problems in the vehicles. Trustworthiness in public relations is measured through the integrity of the communication (Watson 2007). When issuing the letters to car owners informing on upcoming recalls, Hotrod factory fails to concede the on the existing problem noting that no defect exist. The letter does not show honesty from the company for not accepting there is a problem that has led to several accidents and deaths and, it is what prompts the recall. Moreover, the organization fails to outline the reason for stopping the sales of recalled vehicles until the transport minister announced on radio prompting the firm to admit. The company is not truthful with it abilities to recognize the cause of the issues in the cars and resolve them. Trustworthiness in organization encompasses showing technical competencies (Dietz & Gillespie 2012). The firm fails to come out clearly in its capacity to address the origin of the issues and put appropriate measures.
The Hotrod automaker, however, is acting in the public interest through the recall of the faulted vehicles and stopping the sale of the recalled cars. According to (Dardis & Haigh 2009), immediate public relation response should strive to protect all the stakeholders from the crisis. The company decision to recall the vehicles means that it want to curb deaths caused by the fault. The company halts the sales of the cars and, faces an estimated $54 million revenue loss daily; this indicates the firm’s commitment to saving the lives of the public irrespective of the cost. The organization further states that it will replace the faulty pedals with improved ones. Additionally, the company provides car owners with advice on how to react when faced with a similar situation on the road. The information portrays the value for the customers and commitment to protecting them from any harm.
Consequently, Hotrod Automotive Company should use the press release to communicate the understanding of the issues and the commitment to resolve it. The Top leadership should employ public apology, compensation and reminder strategy to restore the organization reputation. The organization failed to portray credibility and truthfulness during image restoration although it acted in the public interest.
Coombs, W.T. and Holladay, S.J., 2008. Comparing Apology to Equivalent Crisis Response Strategies: Clarifying apology's role and value in crisis communication. Public Relations Review, 34(3), pp.252-257.
Coombs, W.T., 2007. Protecting Organization Reputations during a Crisis: The Development and Application of Situational Crisis Communication Theory. Corporate reputation review, 10(3), pp.163-176.
Dardis, F. and Haigh, M.M., 2009. Prescribing versus Describing: Testing Image Restoration Strategies in a Crisis Situation. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 14(1), pp.101-118.
Dietz, G. and Gillespie, N., 2012. Recovery of Trust: Case Studies of Organisational Failures and Trust Repair. Institute of Business Ethics.
Gibson, D., Gonzales, J.L. and Castanon, J., 2006. The Importance of Reputation and the Role of Public Relations. Public Relations Quarterly, 51(3), p.15.
Holtzhausen, D. and Zerfass, A., 2014. The Routledge Handbook of Strategic Communication. Routledge.
Pace, K.M., Fediuk, T.A. and Botero, I.C., 2010. The Acceptance of Responsibility and Expressions of Regret in Organizational Apologies after a Transgression. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 15(4), pp.410-427.
Seeger, M.W., 2006. Best Practices in Crisis Communication: An Expert Panel Process. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 34(3), pp.232-244.
Watson, T., 2007. Reputation and Ethical Behaviour in a Crisis: Predicting Survival. Journal of Communication Management, 11(4), pp.371-384.
Weiner, D., 2006. Crisis Communications: Managing Corporate Reputation in the Court of Public Opinion. Ivey business journal, 70(4), pp.1-6.