Monday, June 06, 2011
What can you say when your company is involved in an historic disaster, is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and whose stock price has crashed? This is the conundrum facing Tokyo Electric Power Company for whom the costs of the nuclear plant disasters is coming due. Talk of delisting the stock has further spooked the markets. The CEO of TEPCO needs to say something, but he must choose his words carefully. It is hard to say that tomorrow will be brighter. The plant meltdown will take years to clean up. Compensation payments to householders and farmers also may extend for many months. Even if the government steps in and creates a compensation fund, TEPCO must pay it back. This is a situation in which the attitude and courage of top leadership is the only public relations approach that works. Using spokespersons and hiding helps no one internally nor consumers and investors. It's a situation that few companies face in their histories. Is TEPCO leadership up to it?