Toyota : Press release archive as time capsule

The Japanese carmaker’s exceptionally deep online press release archive goes back 47 years.

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The feature

In 1973, Richard Nixon declared ‘I’m not a crook’, David Bowie released ‘Life on Mars’ as a single and the Toyota Motor Company unveiled its ‘MAC’ communications system for automobiles, including telephone and display panel for real-time traffic conditions.

The Toyota story is part of the carmaker’s deep online archive on its corporate website, which has press releases dating from March 2nd 1973, presented in original formats and often including downloadable images.

The takeaway

Toyota's press release archive is a fascinating research tool for anyone interested in automotive history. It could also be useful, for example, for researchers tracing the car industry’s corporate social responsibility history – several releases from 1973 discuss Toyota’s ‘anti-pollution’ measures.

Journalists, in particular, want as much depth as possible in a press release archive, yet few companies really deliver on this. Indeed, some firms actively cull older portions of their archive each year.

Toyota’s approach is not only more helpful, but also sends a powerful message of openness and transparency about the company’s past actions. In an age of rising cultural and political awareness of the importance of remembering history rather than seeking to forget it, this can only be a positive thing from a corporate communications perspective.
First published 14 July, 2020
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