As reported in this month’s news, MGR has appointed a new director of PR. Being a former motoring journalist, Daniel Ward is more than likely to be well equipped to deal with the machinations of a hostile UK press. If the reactions of this site’s readers are a barometer, then it can be taken as read that Mr Ward’s appointment is a most welcome one.
Most of those who have expressed an opinion have stated that MGR’s products may be old (in some cases), but they are still more than worthy, and that it is merely fashionable to knock the company, as it has been many times in the past. This may be the case, but the company has given the press much ammunition to play with and if one looks at last October’s Phoenix Four/Pension story, and MGR’s sales since this point, it is easy to see that there is a hard and fast correlation.
Even hard man Graham Day knew the
effects of negative press coverage,
and as a result spent most of his time
schmoozing the press.
Even hard man Graham Day knew the effects of negative press coverage, and as a result spent most of his time schmoozing the press – feeding them as much information as he dare. Of course, the policy today is very much different to Graham Day’s, and very little is heard from the Phoenix Four, leaving the hard pressed executives below to mop up the mess. So, could we be seeing a move towards more openness? Certainly Daniel Ward’s appointment would indicate that MGR is taking PR a lot more seriously than perhaps it should have been. And as he is in charge of PR for the entire Phoenix Group and has the ear of Kevin Howe, one can hope…
So hopefully, we should be seeing some concrete announcements from the company, because there are a lot of disaffected people out there that think that they deserve a little information.
And information is what is needed right now – a little bird tells us that the RD/X60 is now heading for a 2007 launch, the forthcoming re-tooling of the 75 line has been delayed, whilst the upcoming diesel engines (from India) are proving disappointing in development in terms of the elimination of NVH.
Some positive spin is needed. A new, clever and interesting advertising campaign would go a long way (see Sniff Petrol!), as would some new marketing initiatives. Remember when Ford launched its first PCP in the mid-1990s (at a time it had an extremely weak product range), or when MGR launched its free-fuel campaign? Extra sales were the reward. We need something like that now.
I’m sure austin-rover.co.uk could come up with suggestions… how about LPG as standard? That has to be a seller…
We await developments with great interest…
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
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