I’ve been watching the painful crisis PR news unfold as Ford Motor Company announced massive job cuts. In time, over 30,000 auto manufacturing jobs and 14 plants will be a distant memory. Compound this fact with General Motors announcing their own deep cuts and you have a crisis of conscience in the automobile industry.
While most CEOs facing deep cuts make a cursory business press tour and slink back into their corner offices, Ford’s PR team sent their telegenic, 48 year old CEO on a whirlwind media tour. Bill Ford is on the cover of Time magazine this week, speaking with Bloomberg and just about everyone else who will listen to him. In addition, Bill Ford appeared this weekend in a widely-broadcast television commercial touting the strength and stability of Ford Motor Company and the quality of Ford automobiles.
Simply put, Bill Ford’s presence creates the perception that Ford is forging ahead while their competition pauses to lick their wounds. Ford’s PR team ripped a page out the textbook and followed it to the letter – they recognized the intrinsic value of getting their message out in front of bad news, and did what it took to succeed.
Kudos to Bill Ford and his PR team for realizing that a comprehensive communications campaign can minimize damage and shape the opinions of shareholders and consumers.
It’s great to see Public Relations executed so well.