According to an article in today's Wall Street Journal, Toyota has called in the big PR guns to manage its quality crisis (crisis is a powerful word but seems like an understatement here.) I contend that good public relations is everyday public relations. It's communicating with internal and external audiences regularly to maintain a positive, open and honest relationship.
When a company tells its story regularly, even when that means admitting to some hiccups along the way, significant good will is created. When goodwill among the public and stakeholders exists, the power to avert a crisis is strong. Again, as mentioned in previous posts, this requires immediate, full disclosure of any serious problem and a sincere desire and strategy to tackle the issue fully and with urgency. Hiding problems for months and years is sure to lead to a PR crisis. Practicing everyday PR can avert one.