〈中部経済新聞 「中経論壇」平成26年６月３日掲載 池田桂子 〉
Face a Press Conference with thoughts of either Positives or perhaps the Negatives
“Press Conferences” is the fashion these days. It is easy to mention and site many examples, such as that of Mrs. Haruko Obokata’s illicit study, or Mr.Samuragouchi’s plagiarized work.
However, a press conference may not only be one of scandal. For example we hold them for a new product introduction or release, or an enterprise that has had a positive result, as an important announcement, which could serve, and have an extremely positive impact which then as one would expect provide a great deal for corporate activity by the use of positive media and the use of a press conference. On the other hand, we might use the use of a negative press conference too seriously. You need address and deal with negative information in a positive way, such as an accident or incident which needs to be addressed and how it was dealt with.
There are several corresponding methods in the use of media in addition to a formal press conference; there is the provision to reference information in the form of a “press release”, or to exchange information and opinions to reporters, by company executives and the president of a company in a “media roundtable”. The proper use of media is extremely important and must be planned and understood by those who intend to use them. Failure to be prepared and understand what you wish to bring fourth can cause the opposite, and render a very negative result.
We have to pick and study words and phrases that it is highly topical and to refer issues positively, this will have the most positive and most significant impact in what you wish to present to Reporters. However, in a case where the companies thoughts of what was not necessarily presented positively or informatively with the use of certain words or phrases can then serve in the reverse and create a negative article against what was the initial hope of a company’s ‘expectations. Therefore you had better use terms that I want to tell about with the positive impact and compactness in the use of useful expressions.
Making mistakes in correspondence invites bashing, and ridicule. However, if you face a press conference sincerely and with profound honesty, when that happens you must discuss a defective product, or problems which may have caused unexpected accidents as quickly as possible. If it done steadily and in a timely manner, mass media will view that attitude, and the position of the company which has been open and forthcoming as a positive effort on behalf of the company and in most cases will then add support to you. The results of perhaps that negative image will be softened considerably.
In order for a press conference of an emergency in nature which has been made and presented properly, and by doing so, and using risk management tools regularly is so important in the view of the press when information is provided that answers the steps a company has put in place for preparedness in the face of an emergency .
At a press conference, some of the questions most frequently asked are, “What was happening or what caused the incident and where was the CEO at the time this was happening. When did CEO hear about the incident and how long after that did the CEO or the responsible executives react?” Judging from that information, mass media is always most interested in a rapid response when it comes to a crisis, as well as how that crisis was dealt with the in the case of a crisis.
To avoid last minute or disparate correspondence by the persons concerned, it is advisable to face the issue immediately and provide official and informative papers.
If you admit to mistakes without the real reasons at the very first stage, it is extremely difficult to withdraw from that position later and to remove the company from its responsibility. You have to say, and issue responses such as: “We are handling this case and it is under full investigation as we speak”.
In cases of accidents or scandals, I think there are three very essential points to discuss: the “apology”, “find the cause” and “put in place immediate preventions for the future”.
Official position papers should be prepared that can anticipate questions and to also prepare planned answers. It is critical to check with legal professionals such as lawyers. You need to check into whether the representation provided does not lead to the accountability of the directors of the company or perhaps the entire company. For example; to clarify an issue does not mean that this is an announcement of a settlement, or to locality impersonate a merely erroneous display for the media, which at the end of a product liability (PL) litigation, then has reveals a defect as an example.
In some cases, you may have to hold a press conference and be proactive accomplishing a press conference that leads to good and positive effect. One perhaps where a case in which information is found to be unfounded or unsupported and has then been effectively swept away.
Once a just lawsuit is filed, there may be bad, or negative situations that occur where the bad reputation of a company was brought up and then has raised a new set of problems. In such a case, a press conference is useful to avoid the pursuit articles under unilateral communications between the mass media outlets.
<Keiko Ikeda published June 3, 2014 Chubu Keizai Shimbun “medium through Tribune” Heisei>