|December 2, 2009|
|GM's Social Media Blunder Offers Lesson for PR People|
|By Kevin McCauley|
|Let's hear it for Sarah Henderson, who went ballistic upon news that her beloved dad, Fritz Henderson, was unceremoniously sacked from the CEO slot at General Motors. |
Fritz was apparently too much of a car guy for the U.S. government-installed GM chairman Ed Whitacre, the former AT&T chief. He is on the look out for a "world class" CEO to drive GM out of Uncle Samís garage.
Enter the ever-devoted Sarah. Ms. Henderson lashed into GM on its Facebook page. She slammed Whitacre as a "selfish piece of shift" (sic) and urged people to "never buy from this God forsaken company ever again." She signed off with the following farewell:" f***all of you."
GM's crackerjack social media squad was asleep at the switch. They removed Sarah's rants, but not before eagle eyes at car site Jalopnik.com made their move. They re-posted Henderson's rant in all of its foul-mouthed glory.
Sarah became a celeb in the eyes of some Jalopnik fans. One comment said younger Henderson "might make a good replacement CEO. Has more fire than the old man and the board together."
The Henderson rant on GM's site plays up the need to have vigilant PR people monitoring corporate sites. The flip side: censorship exists in corporate blogland.
GMís PR team seems to be stunned by the sudden axing of Fritz, who was slated to give the keynote at the Los Angeles Auto Show. GM's ageless vice chairman Bob Lutz is pinch-hitting for Fritz.
The PR unit isn't moving at Whitacre speed. It still has the TellFritz blog live. TellFritz was unveiled in the "spirit and new openness and direction of the new GM," according to the site. People are "allowed the ability to give your input and express yourself and share your vision of what you think the direction for the new GM should be."
"TellEd" surely must be in the works. Word to the wise: TellEd watchdogs need to keep an eye out for Sarah. She probably has more to say about the dumping of dad.
(Image via ABC)
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