Crisis Communications

We have helped clients put the nightmare of a crisis behind them and begin anew. We have done this by executing a strategy that combines: (1) skillful crisis communications, (2) total commitment to ethical behavior, and (3) organizing an effective crisis management team.

In a crisis we focus on communicating quickly, sending your message through the media, both traditional and social media, to reach a wide spectrum of stakeholders, many of whom are now located around the world. The messaging will communicate your ethical commitment to resolving the crisis in order to do what is “right” and “good” for your stakeholders. Employees are a critical stakeholder group that can be overlooked in a crisis, and we can help improve communications and relationships with employees and thereby avoid the situation where the outside media is their main source of information on the crisis. We monitor the media reporting on the crisis, and take actions to correct misunderstandings. For the organization’s key spokespersons, we provide media training. In this way, we help you retain the goodwill and support of stakeholders when it is most needed.

The composition of your crisis management team is critical, and we can help strengthen it by finding outside professionals and experts as well as suggesting the addition of internal members from relevant departments within the company. When the crisis ends, we help the team focus on rebuilding to ensure that root causes are addressed.

Some examples of work done for other clients include:

Large Japanese restaurant chain facing a crisis of overworked employees

Employees of a major national restaurant chain, mainly students and part-time workers, were made to work excessively long hours on a regular basis, until finally it was reported by the media and became a major scandal. The crisis resulted in outlets being temporarily closed, and the company’s reputation being described in negative terms as a “black-enterprise.” Inoue PR provided crisis management, crisis communications and spokesperson media training which included simulated interviews by an ex-journalist from a major influential nationwide newspaper. Post-crisis, we organized and managed a team of internal executives and external experts to create lasting reform throughout the company.

Falsification of clinical research data of a global pharmaceutical company operating in Japan

A Swiss-based global pharmaceutical company operating in Japan was at the center of a scandal over its product testing with university hospitals, medical societies and research institutions. We provided spokesperson media training, and organized the crisis management team, which included outside experts.

Other Crisis incidents handled

  • Aircraft manufacturer dealing with a crash of a passenger plane at Nagoya airport, in which some 250 passengers and crew lost their lives. We provided the overseas manufacturer with media monitoring services, and organized a briefing to key influencers within the Japanese media.
  • Pharmaceutical company in crisis over unheated blood plasma resulting in the spread of AIDS. We helped them move from an unsuccessful strategy of avoiding the media and refusing to take responsibility, to a proactive stance of actively engaging the media and communicating a response that expressed the company’s commitment to ethical solutions and concern for public health and safety. We helped them take responsibility and to carry out needed internal reforms.
  • Automobile manufacturer in a crisis over legal violations in used car sales. We provided media training, crisis communications, and assisted the team responsible for taking corrective action.
  • Chemical manufacturer that suffered a fire and explosion at a chemical plant. In addition to providing crisis communications and media training, we provided community relations support to repair relations with the surrounding community.
  • Theme park in a crisis over the sale of contaminated foods. We provided media relations, spokesperson training, and crisis communications.
  • Education organization dealing with a sexual harassment case. We provided media relations, and spokesperson training. In addition, we provided employee relations services to improve employee training.

The subject of Risk Management is complex and involves many different risk areas as can be seen from the below diagram. With all the risks facing an organization, it is wise to develop the capability to deal with the possibility of a risk turning into an actual crisis. We help customers develop a reserve of what we call “image stock,” which is the building of goodwill among stakeholders that will give them reasons to support you during a crisis. We also offer clients a wide range of Issue Management services based on years of experience assisting companies proactively address the particular issues and concerns that can arise in the Japanese market.


Risk Management