DEARBORN, MI: Ford's latest cost-cutting measures included laying off numerous PR personnel.
Ray Day, executive director, global automotive operations and public affairs at Ford, would not comment on published reports that between 10 and 25 members of his PR staff were dismissed in late July, but he did confirm that there had been layoffs in the department.
"In line with some overall cost-reduction efforts, we have lost some of our PR team," Day said. Ford has also cut back on its use of outside independent PR practitioners for project work, he added.
The automaker announced in April that it would cut 1,000 staff positions in North America, and in June it would eliminate an additional 1,700 staffers.
Day said the cuts will not mean fewer PR programs for Ford. Rather, "of necessity we're going to be a more efficient and leaner staff," he said. Day has reorganized reporting lines within public affairs as a result of the departures.
Communications efforts are moving forward for new models planned for the fall. For example, Cohn & Wolfe was recently hired to work on lifestyle and consumer media outreach for the new Ford Fusion.