Helped a Big Three Automaker Re‑establish Credibility in the Market
One of the Big Three automakers retained Marston to help establish credibility for the CEO’s efforts to overhaul the company and provide a perspective from outside the automotive industry.
As a newly private company that made most business decisions behind closed doors, it was imperative that the company’s new management team maintain open lines of communication with its employees, dealers, suppliers and, of course, the national business media, as opposed to just the Detroit-based auto press. Marston advised the CEO and his management team to be as transparent as possible and to communicate the strategic thinking behind major business decisions, since the media assumed that, as a private company, the automaker would be disinclined to release information about its operations.
Within weeks of being retained, Marston arranged a series of high-profile articles in publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, FT and BusinessWeek on how the CEO and his new team were developing plans to return the company to profitability.
On the heels of the initial batch of articles, Marston arranged a second round of media coverage in some of the same publications, as well as others, to describe the progress that had been achieved and announce a major new electrical vehicle offering that was part of the CEO’s overall plan to make the company profitable.
The Marston team enabled the company to tell the positive elements of its story broadly and effectively to employees, dealers, suppliers and the general public and to offset much of the negative publicity surrounding the auto industry’s travails in a tough credit climate and a rapidly declining economy.