The Financial Times reports on this attempt by GM to address what the auto maker sees as unfair and inaccurate criticism â€œto make a distinction between the facts and rumours surrounding the company.â€
The FT quotes GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson acknowledging that the site breaks the old public-relations rule of never repeating the negative:
[â€¦] But, he said, â€œweâ€™re trying to take some risks with our internet strategy. Weâ€™ve found that the travails of the auto industry have spread beyond the business pages to the general media. Bloggers and others tend to pick up misinformation and recycle it endlessly.â€
[â€¦] Mr Wilkinson said that â€œthe hard-core naysayers we canâ€™t do anything about, but there are a lot of people in the middle we can have some impact onâ€. GM is especially targeting young people, whose views of the company are likely to be less entrenched than older car buyers.
A look at the siteâ€™s page source shows itâ€™s running on WordPress, one of the most popular blog platforms.
Yet other than an RSS feed, I see no other blog-like elements such as enabling commenting or trackbacks to make this into a genuine discussion forum.
Trackbacks especially would make real sense â€“ it would give GM a great opportunity to enable anyone interested in the auto industry generally and GM in particular to link to specific content on GM Facts and Fiction.
Even if someone links their negative commentary to GMâ€™s myth/fact content, at least youâ€™d have some transparency in seeing those connections, thus making it easier for GM to identify areas for attention.
Maybe my saying itâ€™s a new entrant into the firmâ€™s stable of social media communication channels wouldnâ€™t be entirely accurate even if the platform itself is very much a social medium.
But itâ€™s an interesting move by GM to launch this new site as purely a one-way communication channel.