Opinion: From our Readers - Toyota must keep up with media agenda

I was quoted with my thoughts on the Toyota crisis (News, 5 February) when the crisis was just beginning to hit the media. Things have clearly moved on at pace since.

It has escalated to front page national coverage. The negative comments from the US transportation secretary last week were particularly damaging, as was the evidence that Toyota knew about its accelerator issues some months ago.

Its YouTube video's mix of reassurance, apology and answers works pretty well. It should have posted it earlier though, but probably felt nervous about taking this proactive step.

The video will help, but it needs updating on a regular basis, so as not to go out of date quickly as the media agenda moves on.

It is also really important Toyota works on the customer service line issues because the sentiment behind the video will be lost if customers can't follow up with a phone call to discuss their own situation.

Toyota has taken some sensible steps, but it has been slow in critical areas and the crisis has overtaken it.

The media are now leading the agenda and Toyota is being forced to follow.

Neil Bayley, head of crisis, Porter Novelli (from prweek.com)

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