PR warning: The General Ain't Gonna Take It Anymore
Let’s face it: If you make cars and trucks, and you happen to have your business situated in Detroit, you’re taking a lot of flack these days in the media.
So, now, one of the Shrinking Detroit Three—General Motors—is taking a page out of 1970s glam band Twisted Sister's lyric book saying, We're Not Gonna Take It, no, We Ain't Gonna Take It Anymore.
GM has created a new Web site dubbed GM Facts and Fiction. You’ll find there what GM cites as "myths" often said in the media. Plus, the automaker has launched a video series on its existing Fastlane blog called, The Case for GM.
At Facts and Fiction, car buyers are encouraged to submit rumours about GM they've heard or read for rebuttal. The site's "Overheard" section is littered with positive quotes about GM pulled from the reader comment areas of other websites such as the Wall Street Journal and Autoblog and (surprise! Surprise!) GM's own PR minions.
Fundamentally, GM is asking you to, “Please, give us break. We’re trying really, really hard…”
The introduction video, below, is by the religiously unbiased Christopher Barger, GM's director of global communications.
In the end, what can GM tell us that we don’t already know?
It’s verboten to talk about future product. They can't let us in on future technology or R&D. And they can’t really pre-announce any future cost cutting or financial plans.
Maybe the biggest problem I have with this whole adventure is—besides taking money away from much needed ad money—GM’s strategy breaks with the golden rule of PR: never repeat false or negative information.
This whole PR mess is an indication of how far the Detroit automakers have fallen since their dominance in the 1960s.
The fact that GM is in full defensive mode must have former '60s Ford scion, Henry “The Deuce” Ford II, spinning in his grave. He of the famous, “Never complain, never explain” mantra.