DETROIT: General Motors (GM) celebrated its 100th Anniversary earlier this week with a focus on the future, not the past, by unveiling the production model of its Chevy Volt for the first time.
The September 16 celebration, which took place at GM's corporate headquarters with a live webcast, highlighted the company's strategy for the future with the Volt, according to Bill O'Neill, executive director, GM communications operations.
“We wanted to show that GM is a strong global enterprise, here for the long-haul, defined by products and technology, which was why we chose to show the Volt,” he said. “We went through redesign and had been shooting all along for the past year for the Volt production vehicle to be star of 100th anniversary of the company … now PR will shift to development and marketing of vehicle.”
PR for the event, for which planning began four years ago, was supported by Weber Shandwick, which focused on media relations, and developing content for the GMnext Web site that aims to engage nontraditional consumers in a dialogue about alternative fuels. The Volt carries a battery pack, and claims to run 40 miles without gasoline or producing emissions.
According to Terry Rhadigan, director of Chevrolet communications, the company is working with a number agencies on Volt PR, including WS, Manning Selvage & Lee, and TMG Strategies, a separate arm of MS&L.* It will emphasize messaging that differentiates the Volt from hybrids, which it's finding some consumers are confused about.
*CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article said that The McGinn Group also worked on PR for the Volt. McGinn Group changed its name to TMG Strategies in Q1.