A salient challenge for global companies is to manage perceptions in foreign venues where the media may be hostile and governments unsupportive. When Energizer faced a serious problem in China, it responded shrewdly, aggressively, and effectively.
Energizer’s interests in the Far East were significantly threatened by totally inaccurate media interpretations of a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
The task was to correct the record in a way that would ensure the revised story attracted more attention than the original. Key executives signed a letter averring that Chinese officials must have been surprised by the “errors” in the Western media, which was hand-delivered it to key Beijing officials with a request that the government-controlled media highlight the true facts.
Within days, the Chinese government replaced the incorrect information on its global websites. They did so, with substantial and immediate impact as Energizer’s version soon dominated search engine rankings.