Avoiding PR Horror Stories for Your Automotive Company

It’s an exciting time for the automotive industry as advances in technology seem to happen daily. The development of electrical vehicles and autonomous technology will transform the industry and society itself.

It’s also a scary time as bad actors, technical glitches, and data breaches can threaten the reputation of your automotive technology company. Do you have an automotive public relations plan to prevent incidents and accidents from turning into horror stories for your business?

Public Concerns

The public has concerns about autonomous vehicle technology. According to a 2018 Reuters/Ipsos Poll, 67 percent of U.S. adults polled said they were uncomfortable with the idea of riding in self-driving cars.

In addition to worries about safety, the prospect of hackers taking control of a car remotely remains a very real — if somewhat sensationalized — concern. Researchers believe cybersecurity is a serious concern for automotive technology manufacturers, according to USA Today:

A worst-case scenario would be hackers infiltrating a vehicle through a minor device, such as an infotainment system, then wreaking havoc by taking control of the vehicle’s door locks, brakes, engine, or even semi-autonomous driving features.

Such a scenario was shown to be possible in a 2015 remote hacking demonstration involving a Jeep Cherokee that rocked the industry and prompted Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to send UBS sticks with software patches to the owners of 1.4 million cars and trucks.

Crisis Plans

If the worst happens, it’s important to be transparent and take steps to reassure the public that your company is doing the right thing to respond. A well-thought-out crisis response strategy is needed to get that message out to customers and investors.

An experienced automotive public relations agency can help your business develop a crisis communications plan to let your company tell the truth and tell it fast so you can take control of the narrative.

What Now?

At Ripley PR, we specialize in automotive public relations. We know how important it is to develop a crisis communications plan for your company to help keep technical incidents from turning into full-blown horror stories. We can help. Contact us today.

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Joel Davis, Content Supervisor

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