Friday, March 20, 2009

GM PR: Listening is Key

Tom Wickham, Manager of Executive Communications at General Motors, visited one of my classes and spoke in an open forum at the Kirkhof Center yesterday afternoon about how General Motors is responding in the currently challenging public opinion environment.

Among his key points:
  • listen and learn about public sentiment, then respond;
  • people might still disagree, but GM wants to express its point of view and get the facts out so people can make more informed judgments on the company and the issues it faces;
  • GM now expects its communications employees to be engaged in social media. They are via Twitter, GM blogs, and Facebook;
  • They hosted bloggers at the recent auto show, and saw good result in the form of bloggers reaching unique markets, such as young moms, latinas, and yes, people older than 50;
  • the strategy is to listen, share, communicate with integrity, honesty, transparency;
  • The bottom line PR lesson: actions matter more than anything else. 
You can see coverage in various West Michigan media:

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