DETROIT: General Motors has taken the unusual move of hiring an external PR agency, GCI Boxenbaum Grates, to oversee its internal communications staff and to develop internal communications strategy.
According to Steve Harris, GM's V-P of worldwide communications, the cost will be about the same as hiring a new director of internal communications when salary and benefits are included.
GCI has been working on GM projects since 1997 and last year carried out an internal communications audit for the company, so it is familiar with GM's internal communication issues, Harris said.
'The deal doesn't signal a de-emphasis on internal communications. Rather, it is a big priority,' said Gary Grates, president of GCI Boxenbaum Grates.
Existing internal communications staff will remain at GM but now report to Grates.
The arrangement should speed the pace of change within GM's internal communications area, Harris predicted.