Financial uncertainty spurs GM to reduce its PR budget

DETROIT: Facing financial uncertainty, General Motors, the world's largest automaker, will "definitely" reduce its communications budget for 2009, alongside other operations, said Steve Harris, GM's VP of global communications.

DETROIT: Facing financial uncertainty, General Motors, the world's largest automaker, will “definitely” reduce its communications budget for 2009, alongside other operations, said Steve Harris, GM's VP of global communications.

Although 2009 budgets are not set, “all budgets throughout communications,” including those with PR firms, are under scrutiny due to “the current environment,” he added.

In the past few months, the communications budget actually increased as tasks from other sectors like event planning were added to its department, Harris said. GM works with a number of firms, including Weber Shandwick and MS&L, and is currently working toward the approval of its federal loans.

Mark Hass, CEO of MS&L, told PRWeek by e-mail that the firm will work at temporarily reduced rates next year. MS&L's “attention and energy right now are completely on helping GM get through the current financial situation and onto firmer ground in 2009,” he added.

WS' CEO Harris Diamond declined to comment.

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