A quick lesson in GM Media management

To those looking to embark upon a writing venture where you’ll be reporting on the activities of a certain company (any company). To those currently engaging in this practice. To those looking for some assurance about the activities of a certain company (any company)……
……here’s why you look for inside sources.
Automotive News, April 24

General Motors is preparing to announce early next week that the Pontiac brand will be eliminated, said a source familiar with the company’s plans.

Just about every other news service ran with a similar story late last week.
Then we had this:
GM Media Press Release, April 24

Contrary to media speculation, General Motors has not announced any changes to its long-term viability plan or to the future status of any of its brands. GM is continuing to review its restructuring plan to go further and faster and best ensure its future success. Additional information will be released as any decisions are finalized.

And finally, the death rattle.
GM Media Press Release, April 27

As part of the revised Viability Plan and the need to move faster and further, GM in the U.S. will focus its resources on four core brands, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC. The Pontiac brand will be phased out by the end of 2010.

The lesson, if you didn’t know already: Official sources will only tell you want they want you to know, when they want you to know it.
I enjoy a good relationship with Saab contacts in Sweden, but I know that they generally adhere to this rule. If I’m told something, it’s generally because it’s announcement is imminent or even already made.
I jepeaordise that relationship from time to time because some facts come to me earlier via inside sources and I report them here, but only with the best interests of the company’s supporters at heart.
Some of these PR people don’t get that and if they’d like to hold it against me and others like me, so be it. I can live with that. But I hope they don’t think that SU is merely a repository for manufactured information such the type that GM tried to push with the Pontiac escape.
Again, if Saab want to get on the front foot with the media, they should run their own media outlet and remove the middleman between them and their community.
Want to control the news? Break it yourself.

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