Study describes CEO role in crises

WASHINGTON: Whether it's Japan or the US, smart companies confronting a crisis should realize that CEO visibility can help to allay consumer unrest.

WASHINGTON: Whether it's Japan or the US, smart companies confronting a crisis should realize that CEO visibility can help to allay consumer unrest.

WASHINGTON: Whether it's Japan or the US, smart companies confronting a crisis should realize that CEO visibility can help to allay consumer unrest.

The findings of a recent survey, sponsored by Edelman PR and conducted by research subsidiary StrategyOne, provide an interesting juxtaposition with the actions of Bridgestone/Firestone's top executives.

The recommended emergency treatment for companies facing such crises is 'visibility and openness and perceived honesty with consumers,' said StrategyOne VP Jason Booms. Bridgestone, however, proved rather slow in owning up to problems with its tires and frequently emphasized Ford's involvement in the crisis.

However, the fact that Bridgestone CEO Masatoshi Ono (since resigned) was Japanese should not have had an impact on consumer perceptions in the US, according to the survey.

Over one-third of Americans sampled said having someone of Japanese origin serve as the crisis spokesperson would not make a difference. Interestingly, the proportion of people who said it gave them a 'more favorable' impression of the company was the same proportion who said it gave them a 'less favorable' impression.

Nearly 80% of Americans said their opinion of a company confronting a crisis would be more favorable if the CEO 'were very visible and went on TV to explain the corporation's solution to the problem.'





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