The limits of issues management

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Like most people in the media industry I receive the Popbitch email into my inbox on a weekly basis and this week was no exception. It usually features topical jokes this week:

Q: What’s big, black and steals your credit cards?
A: Sony Playstation 3.

Combine this with Sony’s ham-fisted submission to the US Congress and experts who lined up to say that it was a matter of public record that Sony had failed to update the software on their servers and its obvious to see that PR can only do so much. You find it hard to manage an issue when it is systemic within the organisation or is part of a broken process (in this case, IT-related). The Japanese management’s apology was the right thing to do, the accusations against Anonymous weren’t; take your licks and try and bow out of the spotlight as fast as possible.  The PR people involved should learn more about the Japanese concept of hansei | 反省 which approximates to introspection and is a core part of the continuous improvement process which drove Japan’s manufacturing and engineering prowess.

Archived from blog posts I wrote for PR Week