Social Media Rubber Has Met The Road


This one blog post from Ford’s new social media director, Scott Monty, illustrates a terrific example of the role social media is playing in crisis PR communications.

In this particular case, the post demos how social media is being used to progress the overall conversation to a more positive consideration of the automotive industry… at a time when that industry, from a PR standpoint, seriously f-ed up.

From Scott Monty’s blog:

It’s been a rough week. And for someone who is new to the auto industry, this is truly a test.

And at Ford, our social media efforts are just in their nascency. My colleagues at GM have a pretty strong team in place, while I’m just one guy doing what I can. Since Ford doesn’t yet have a robust public platform in the social media space, it’s largely been a matter of individual engagement. And for much of the week, it’s been like fighting a forest fire with a squirt gun.

Full blog post here. You will need to explore it to understand this post at all. But in a nutshell, Scott jumping immediately into the media cycle to circulate this one YouTube video alone, the compelling statement from a Detroit area Congressman at the now infamous “Gulfstream Hearing,” has likely shifted the conversation already.

And how did I first come to click-on that particular video and LISTEN to it? Why Twitter. Of course. Scott from Ford is not only my Twitter friend now, but he’s also a Facebook friend. Now that’s getting up close and personal with crisis communications!

But the real winner here will be Ford… for having had the good sense to hire a social media director as autute as Scott Monty. He knows the medium he’s operating in like a cop knows how to sniff the air for doughnuts.

Scott might be new to Ford, but he clearly is not new to being precise, transparent, honest, blunt, no-frills and totally straight-up when the BS was (is) swirling all around him.

Take note Edelman. Wal-Mart, etc.

2 responses »

  1. Hi Grayson,

    Mmmm…donuts. Wait – what was I saying? 😉

    This is a case of being present in these various communities before any crisis communications was needed. I’ve been plugging along, making efforts here and there, engaging with people on Twitter, Facebook, blogs and more – but it wasn’t until now that I felt I needed to marshal all of the facts together to help people be a little more informed before they rush to judgment.

    My take on social media at Ford is far different than that being undertaken by my colleagues at GM. And that’s okay. We’re each doing what works for us and what’s consistent with our company’s brand. And with Ford, it’s matter of putting a human face to the company and just being “real” with people. To me, *that’s* what’s going to help people think of Ford when it comes time to make a car purchasing decision, or during times of crisis.

    It’s a hard job, and 2009 will not be an easy year for any of us. But I for one am looking forward to the challenges and making progress where I can.

    Thanks for you thoughtful post.

    Scott Monty
    Global Digital Communications
    Ford Motor Company


  2. You confirmed what I highly suspected. You’re the one to watch now in social media, Scott. And believe me, the world will.


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