Saab PR win European Excellence Award

Sometimes you just don’t appreciate how much work someone’s doing until someone points it out to you.

Like Saab PR.

Many companies farm out their PR to agencies, or at least have huge amounts of agency advice guiding their way. I’m on the record here at SU saying that Koenigsegg’s PR agency got money for nothing during the Saab sale because they absically advised Koenigsegg Group to do nothing, say nothing, all whilst the press in Sweden beat them around the ears on a daily basis.

Such is the importance of the PR team and the way they keep corporate communications on message.

At Saab, their efforts during the sale process were super-human, all the more because it was essentially a very small team from within the company doing all the work. I was bugging these folks several times a week and they were always happy to talk, confirm, deny, enlighten or straighten out a story.

Their ability to keep the right story in focus and get the right people in front of the press at the right time has now been rewarded. From the Trollhattan blog at Saab Media:

Our coordinated efforts to maintain an open, proactive approach to public relations, without agency support, during what turned out to be a protracted period of uncertainty, have now been recognized by the communications industry in the 2010 European Excellence Awards. We’ve received the award for outstanding achievement in the Crisis Communications category.

It’s always satisfying to win awards, but it’s even more rewarding to know we’re keeping our media colleagues in the loop.

Here’s an insight into how much of a family Saab is.

My first contact with Saab PR was with a brilliant guy named Christer Nilsson. He retired around three years ago.

Anyway, during the sale process, I remember there was one particular day when something huge happened. There were so many huge events that year that I can’t remember exactly which one it was. Saab knew it was going to be huge, though, so they had to have some phones ready with experienced people on the other end.

I called to get some details on whatever-the-story-was and who did I get on the phone? None other than Christer himself, who came into the office in order to help meet the demand for information.

Congratulations to Saab’s PR team for winning this award. It’s well deserved and shows what a tight, dedicated team can achieve.

And I hope Joe Oliver is raising a glass there in England, too. He left Saab a few months ago to form his own consultancy back home but was a huge part of Saab’s journey in 2009.

9 thoughts on “Saab PR win European Excellence Award”

  1. If your collegues recognise your work and decide you have really earned this award, then my humble congratulations mean very little 😉

    But congratz anyway.
    Well deserved.

  2. Yes, this is wonderful news! I can only imagine how crazy things got for the PR department at Saab during all the twists and turns of the sale process. Bravo!

  3. It is the dedication of the staff and even ex-staff that make you love the brand…I have never heard this story before…but as long as things keep going like this I will always have a Saab, there is a story to every detail.

  4. Sticking one’s head in the sand is not a PR strategy. Saab’s apparently small PR department did an agency size job in the middle of a long sh-t storm of infinitely changing winds. Shows how a nimble company, becoming unbridled from a restrictive corporate parent, can operate efficiently and with aplomb. Well done and well deserved. Scrappy Saab shows its beautiful colors again.

  5. Hats off to Saab’s Communications Team, it’s a very well deserved award. I would personally like to commend Mr. Eric Geers for being the fastest person I know to answer petty emails, and one of the most effective to get even the least important matters attended briskly.

  6. Eric Geers is a rock star! A true profesional. Joe Oliver an absolute stud, but be careful…his pregnant wife almost ran me over. Accident, or…?

    Saab has first class people.

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