Toshiba Asia’s PR

Take pity on us journalists. I tried to reach Toshiba’s PR handlers in Asia this morning. It’s not easy. Their Japanese site has a webpage which contains press releases but none of those releases contained contact numbers, names or emails. (How are we expected to ask follow up questions if there’s no contact number? A press release is not the end of the story, at least for a journalist who does his job properly.) Their regional webpage takes you to the same site.

Nowhere else on the website could I find any sort of contact that could be described as PR. The contact us webpage contains all sorts of exciting links, but nothing that could be described as a PR department. There’s a ‘non-product enquiry’ page which requires you fill in a form, but no names, no phone numbers, nothing that might help a journalist get a question answered.

Then I had an idea: Benjamin, a unit of Weber Shandwick, the PR agency, handles Toshiba in the U.S., so perhaps Weber Shandwick’s regional office in Hong Kong might know. Er, no. Nothing so far.

Eventually I picked up the phone and called their headquarters. A very helpful woman answered the phone, took down my details and then played me some rather soothing tinkly music (several times, I couldn’t help noticing) before telling me the whole PR department had gone for lunch (it being, after several rounds of tinkly music, 12.03 pm.) So I was told to call back ‘after lunch’.

Why is it easier to reach a small company than it is to reach a big one? Why issue a press release without any contact details on it? Why hire big PR companies to handle your PR but not actually let journalists know who those PR companies are, and how we can reach them?

Yuck. I’m going to have to call back Toshiba Japan just to soothe myself with some more tinkly music.

13. May 2004 by jeremy
Categories: Rants | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 comment

One Comment

  1. Scattered Trust of Highly-Motivated Employee
    By David Schneider david_lawyer@walla.com
    If you open Moscow Yellow Pages, you would be surprised how many foreign companies have their offices in Moscow. Although the international financial crisis has caused the collapse which has never occurred since the Great Depression, the Russian Federation is still considered as a quiet harbor.
    Amongst the transcontinental companies there are a considerable number of Japanese corporations such as Toshiba and Mitsubishi. Though the latter are thought to be well-known for their successful in retailing of high-quality products worldwide, there have been cases which must be interesting to investigating institutions. We are going to take Mr. Vadim Danilov’s employee fraud case including asset misappropriation, money laundering, and kickback scheme.
    The story goes Mr. Vadim Danilov was hired by Mr. Harry Fujimaki to work for Toshiba Corporation (株式会社東芝 Kabushiki-gaisha Tōshiba) as a general logistics manager in Russia. The event occurred in 2004. In the course of two years Mr. Danilov had been “employed” in other areas such as, a certification specialist, customs broker, trader, promoter, etc. Mr. Danilov worked effectively and honestly thinking that he was a team player contributing to Toshiba’s profits.

    Moreover, Mr. Koichiro Natsume, an executive manager of Toshiba Corporation in the CIS, declared him a Toshiba Official Trader at the Conference at the Imperial Park Hotel, Moscow, 2006. In addition, Mr. Natsume declared that Mr. Vadim Danilov was officially registered by Toshiba Corporation as Toshiba’s Official Trader named “the Ninth Wave” in the UK. To conclude the announced procedures, Mr. Natsume issued to Danilov’s Ninth Wave an invoice which was paid to a TCMS official account at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Singapore Branch.

    Furthermore, there were other financial transactions during 2006-2007-2008 years, executed by Mr. Vadim Danilov between clients and Toshiba Consumer Marketing Singapore, SMBC Singapore branch account.

    After all the payments were completed, Mr. Natsume vanished somewhere in Japan. Toshiba Corporation managers in Russia, Japan and Singapore refused to explain to Mr. Vadim Danilov how those payments had been used.
    Toshiba Corporation & TCMS, insist that Mr. Vadim Danilov has no evidences and the corporation declares now that Mr. Vadim Danilov had never had any relations with Toshiba Group Companies.

    Nowadays, the Toshiba staff has been running away from Mr. Danilov for 33 months. The Metropolitan Police Department of Tokyo also refused to investigate the accident and explained to Mr. Danilov that he had no right to bring in an action against a Japanese citizen. It seems to be a confrontation between David and Goliath but David had had no backup…