Before product safety problems occur, build trust

PR professionals play critical role in accumulating goodwill.

PR professionals play critical role in accumulating goodwill

With product safety issues continuing to make headlines, consumer products companies are increasingly aware of the need to build brand trust — before a crisis occurs.

The headlines about product safety are coming fast and furiously in a market that’s sensitive to consumer concerns. In early March, an activist group called the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics issued a study claiming that many children’s bath products have ingredients that can cause cancer and skin allergies. Companies that manufacture these products have been quick to debunk the study but naturally, the findings are ricocheting all over the blogosphere.

And of course, the media has been quick to pounce on stories about faulty products coming from China. “The axiom ‘Cheap goods carry a high price’ rings truer each day as Chinese manufacturers issue recall after recall of low-cost, toxic goods,” reported BusinessWeek last October — these goods include tainted pet food, toys with lead paint, defective tires and toothpaste made with toxic chemicals.

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