May 26, 2009
All too rare, an exceptionally well-written news release is something this writer truly appreciates. It’s not just enough for an inspired PR pro to have an idea that’ll take the piece he needs to write from “poo” to “powerful.” He needs to work that piece through his colleagues’ and supervisors’ revisions and contributions — not to mention their apprehensions and their own “wonderful” ideas. As if that weren’t enough, the legal department looms dangerously close to the end of most approval processes.
When Ford found its 2010 Fusion Hybrid on the receiving end of some rumors circulating via e-mail — specifically, that the car could be had for only $15,000 via a special program — creativity kicked in faster than full-on crisis communications. For the better, I believe.
Now surely, this news release isn’t the most free-spirited, humorous or irreverent we’ve seen, but it’s a great example of maintaining a very reasonable, very human tone in a less than ideal situation. This release certainly could have been a straight-laced, by-the-book chunk legalese. You know, play it safe and whatnot.
Instead, Ford took the opportunity to convey a hint of personality — and to drive home a few key messages, to boot. Well played.
Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company via Flickr