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Playing PR offense in a defensive economy

June 1, 2009

2005 Saturn Ion: Photo courtesy of lotpro.comI’ve happily owned my 2005 Storm Grey Saturn Ion 3 since 2006.  Her name is Gisele (named after her sleek, model-like looks), and as cheesy as it sounds: We’ve been through a lot together.

Gisele was there for me when I had the genius (sarcasm intended) idea to commute 50 miles to and from Kent every day of my sophomore year, and she was with me when I spent two years attempting to make a long distance relationship work.  She’s been there through shopping trips to Pittsburgh and Cleveland and random road trips to visit one of my best friends near Columbus.  Together, we’ve steered clear of numerous deer, squirrel and vermin that attempted suicide via pavement.

So when I read about GM filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy today, my first concern was for workers at GM’s Lordstown plant, which is one of the most prominent employers in the Mahoning Valley.  Once I knew GM Lordstown was not included in the organization’s cuts, my second concern was GM’s choice to kick Saturn to the curb.

Like any irrational, passionate consumer, I immediately tweeted about my concerns and voiced my opinion about GM’s decision to give Saturn the boot.  To my surprise, @GMBlogs and @GCAGreg responded to my concerns via Twitter.

From a public relations standpoint, I was incredibly impressed with GM’s quick, tactful response.  I can’t imagine how swarmed GM’s PR Department is today as it works to disseminate information to journalists across the globe.  Yet the company still values its customers enough to respond through social media efforts.

Kudos to GM’s social media efforts, and the best of luck to the organization as it restructures itself with the federal government’s assistance.

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