GM really took a step this year when they invited a group of bloggers to visit and participate in the Detroit Auto Show.
Blogging’s at the leading edge of new media and whilst it’s taken a little while to gain acceptance in some circles, it’s slowly getting there. The difficult part is to sort the wheat from the chaff. The great differentiator between blogs is content – a regular stream of high quality, original and accurate content.
GM took a varied approach to their blog selection, inviting bloggers that cover various subject areas in order to maximise their brand exposure in different niches. A smart approach.
Of course, the car bloggers were there too and Autoblog featured a number of interviews with key GM staff, such as Bob Lutz and Ed Welburn, which were pretty candid and informative – just the way blogs are meant to be.
For those of you that weren’t following, this year’s Detroit show featured a whole slew of broken embargoes in the lead up. Historically, the printmedia have been given advance photos of new models so that they could get their stories written and their magazines to print but they weren’t allowed to be sold prior to the embargo date.
The emergence of internet media is forcing some re-thought of this strategy. Car companies have tried to treat internet media the same way with embargoed early release photos but as soon as one online publisher breaks the embargo they all follow suit.
New Media is forcing the automotive industry (as well as many other industries) to build new relationships and strategies. The age of the paper printed publication is waning. The one thing we have to make sure of is that the quality still remains.
Rather than running from the new kids, Gm took some steps to embrace them at the Detroit show and whilst I don’t normally hand GM compliments so easily, I think it was a great step.