The “Big 3 Detroit Drama” has been fascinating from a PR perspective.
One thing’s for sure – if you throw a historic world economic meltdown, U.S. automakers, the UAW, the U.S. Congress, an incumbent President and a President-Elect, Governors, Mayors and more than six million auto-related employees into a pot and stir ‘em up, you get one heck of a PR lesson.
It took a while, but it is beginning to feel like the auto industry has finally gotten organized, considered and decided on its key messages, and activated its communications plan.
In my local newspaper this a.m. (The Cincinnati Enquirer), I read the “7 Myths About Detroit’s Big 3.” Not a bad read.
Last evening, I received an email from Tom Eisbrenner, the CEO of a Detroit PR firm (Eisbrenner Public Relations) with whom Vehr Communications is a partner through IPREX. In addition to sharing an advance of the article referenced above, he provided a direct link to TheEngineOfDemocracy.com, a Web site from the “people of America’s auto industry.”
Wow, it was just a couple of weeks ago when the Big Three honchos flew to D.C. on their corporate jets, appeared not to have details for the $34 billion they sought, and then looked unprepared to defend their request and their means of travel. We blogged on that a couple weeks ago.
Then, they tried again a few weeks later, drove there in hybrids and sedans, had more specificity to their requests and convinced the House for a more limited ($14 billion) interim solution. They almost made it to the finish line before the airbags deployed in the Senate.
Now, they are working on the White House, and they’re working it hard.
You may not like it. Or, you may be for it. But, you have to admit that the Big Three, the UAW and all related industry sectors are starting to get a message across that is moving and shaping public policy. They are starting to communicate effectively. Their strategic communications plan appears to be working.
As a PR professional, this has been fascinating and instructive to watch.