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The King is Dead, Long Live the King

July 17, 2009  

As it files for bankruptcy, the once-mighty General Motors faces a public-relations crisis of tremendous proportion: How does it convince customers, employees, suppliers and the American public that it not only deserves to survive, but can?

"Let's be completely honest," says the narrator of the "Reinvention" video GM posted to YouTube. "No company wants to go through this. But we're not witnessing the end of the American car—we're witnessing the rebirth of the American car. General Motors needs to start over in order to get stronger."

In the space of a minute, the video argues that GM's traditional business model once made sense, but not anymore. "Reinvention is the only way we can fix this," continues the narrator. "And fix it we will." The formula includes fewer, stronger brands; fewer, stronger models; and a leaner, greener approach to design and manufacture. "This is not about going out of business," he says. "This is about getting down to business."

Our Marketing Inspiration for crisis management comes from the Strategic Public Relations blog: "The company is being as transparent as possible to tell their story on what's next. If GM had not been establishing itself over the years in social media, this effort simply would not be as effective. Social media won't solve GM's problems, but it will help the company keep an open line of communication in troubled times as it prepares to rebuild."

More Inspiration:
Paul Chaney: When Is a Web Site Not a Web Site?
Beth Harte: A Grand-Slam for Denny's?
Paul Dunay: Social Search: Could It Be a Google Killer?


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