Automotive PR: When Your Products Are Really People

In the world of automotive public relations, the stories that sell are never really about products. They’re about people.

Your company may make sophisticated components for today’s high-tech automotive industry, but what it is actually selling is stories. Did your airbag technology save someone’s life? Do people tell stories about the incredible lengths you’ll go to provide the best customer service? Did your product mean the difference between life and death for some kids who had a wreck on the way to the prom?

The very best automotive public relations used these stories to hook potential customers for your technology, whether someone in the purchasing department or in the biggest office in the C-suite. Writing in Forbes, Steve Olenski quotes the then-country manager for Jeep U.K.  concerning the power of storytelling in automotive PR:

“Storytelling in the automotive industry has been key in marketing campaigns for some time, especially since the advent of interactive/social media. This can be something metaphoric, yet simple, like a journey, to something more in-depth, with use of roles and a plot for the more adventurous. Portraying your brand as the protagonist in either case is essential.”

Generating brand awareness doesn’t have to just be about what you sell. It can also be about your company culture. How do you take care of your employees? What good causes do you promote? Who are the personalities and experts in your organization?

On other side of the coin, automotive PR is a tool for mitigating the damage of the wrong kind of stories: when your technology fails and someone gets hurt, when a product is defective, or when a worker or executive ends up as a bad story on social media.  That’s when you need a PR team that knows how to deal with a crisis.

Here at Ripley PR, we understand that story makes the difference between a brilliant automotive PR strategy and simply adequate public relations. We also know how to help your company navigate the fallout from bad stories.  Give us a call at 865-977-1973. You won’t regret it.

Joel Davis, Content Supervisor

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