Thursday, December 18, 2008

Industry PR 

How does an industry overcome bad public relations? The American auto makers are facing just this problem. As far as the public is concerned, the companies can go into Chapter 11 because "they deserve it." But, it's not that simple. Should the industry collapse, thousands will be thrown out of work and parts suppliers may go with them. On the other hand, bankruptcy may be what some automakers need to get financials under control.

The public is not in the mood to make fine distinctions. It wants to punish automakers for arrogance and CEOs for using corporate jets. Democracy is messy and often simplistic. While opinion polls provide a gauge of crowd sentiment, one dare not rely on them for every decision. They do show, however, how far the industry must travel to get back into good standing.

The question is what an effective PR program would be to help automakers recover? Making good and consumer-pleasing products is a first step, but what are the second and third tactics?


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