Navistar revs up PR to sell new name, technologies

CHICAGO: Gearing up for an awareness push centering on its new name and technologies, the company formerly known as Navistar is tweaking its internal PR operations.

CHICAGO: Gearing up for an awareness push centering on its new name and technologies, the company formerly known as Navistar is tweaking its internal PR operations.

CHICAGO: Gearing up for an awareness push centering on its new name

and technologies, the company formerly known as Navistar is tweaking its

internal PR operations.



The company, which has changed its moniker to International Truck and

Engine Corp. (ITEC), has promoted Greg Elliott, formerly VP of

communications strategy, to VP of communications. He replaces the person

who hired him, Maril MacDonald, who opened her own agency during her

tenure with the company. Her firm, Matha MacDonald, will continue to

work with ITEC.



MacDonald said she had long viewed Elliott as a potential successor.



’Greg came in and had traction within three days,’ she quipped. ’There

was never a doubt this guy could do the job.’



MacDonald is widely credited with developing a communications strategy

that helped improve company performance and employee relations. She has

been a key advisor to chairman John Horne during his struggle to improve

company performance. ’I’m still going to spend a lot of time there,’

MacDonald promised.



Elliott said one of his first challenges will be publicizing Navistar’s

name change, announced to shareholders in late February. The company

decided to change its name for the second time in the last 15 years

after doing substantial brand research. Once known as International

Harvester, Navistar dropped that name when it exited the then troubled

farm equipment market in the 1980s to concentrate on trucks and

engines.



Elliott, who is planning to roll out the new name and corporate logo at

a major trucking show this week in Louisville, confirmed that the

company will continue to work with Matha MacDonald on corporate culture

issues and with Hill & Knowlton on corporate PR.



One major project in which H&K is involved is the promotion of ITEC’s

green diesel technology, a method that allows diesel fuel to burn as

cleanly as some alternative fuels. The company wants to actively promote

its technology in California, which has stricter emission standards.



Prior to joining Navistar, Elliott had been director of executive

communications at General Motors.



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