How in the world did the Detroit Three become so reviled across the country that many Americans are rooting for their demise — despite the fact that the disappearance of the Detroit Three means the disappearance of hundreds of thousands of jobs?
I think that often communications departments in large corporations become so insulated — their only real clients being upper management — that they lose sight of how the company is being viewed by the larger population. Where have the Detroit Three’s PR people been the last few years? GM has more hybrid models than any other car company, yet by media accounts, you would think that they’ve installed a giant heater on the Polar icecap with their logo on it. Where have they been in advising their CEOs to walk the line between arrogance and sheepishness? Why have they not battled the misconceptions of this industry before these inaccurate perceptions became reality across the country? And why, as Tom pointed out, did they not remind their CEOs that planes do in fact fly with more than one person aboard?
I don’t blame the communications departments of the Detroit Three. They were doing their jobs as directed by upper management. But as these companies insulated themselves from public opinion, they have also created the illusion of irrelevance.