3 Comments

Summary:

GM CEO Rick Wagoner took his message to YouTube, invited comments, and then disabled them.

A story popped up on the web Thursday reporting that in these trying economic times General Motors Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner was taking “a message of hope” straight to the people through YouTube. Too bad the video message was posted on Sept. 22 — before the big BIG meltdown. Also too bad is GM’s unwillingness to put the “you” in its YouTube channel.

The Case for GM is a series of videos featuring GM’s senior leadership. The introductory video from Christopher Barger, GM’s director, global communications technology (he refers to himself in the video as director of social media) says the video series is not designed to be one-way and that the company wants constructive criticism. Then why did GM disable comments on its videos?

In his video Wagoner talks about what GM is doing in the midst of high oil prices, financial market crisis, and a weak economy. Wagoner’s remarks are the standard stuff a CEO would say — we’re looking to the future, blah blah blah. But at the end Wagoner invites people to leave comments (he’s “anxious” for them) and then says he’ll read them all. Easy to do when no one can post one.

This isn’t the first time a CEO has taken to YouTube. JetBlue’s CEO David Neeleman used the video sharing site for damage control in Feb. 2007. His company screwed up and he was man enough to open up the comment section and take the heat.

If GM is going to use YouTube — use ALL of it, create that dialogue. If you don’t want criticism, don’t invite it.

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  1. Your post here is a little misleading. The comments on YouTube may be disabled, but not on the blog where the videos reside. We’ve gotten hundreds of comments on the videos on FastLane and have responded to as many of those as we can. Check out fastlane.gmblogs.com to see how we’ve responded.

    Adam Denison
    General Motors

  2. Klaus Holzapfel Thursday, October 16, 2008

    I have a feeling GM has a LOT to learn and they are not doing it fast enough. This is jsut anther great example on how not to do it. They were very cocky in a 60 minutes story as few weeks ago in regards to Silicon Valley car makers.

    I think it is easier to learn to make a car if you have the basics of modern communication straight than doing vice versa;-)

  3. Best of Rick Wagoner: Farewell to the Volt/Hummer Chief Monday, March 30, 2009

    [...] On YouTube: As the global economy headed into a tailspin last fall, General Motors posted a series of videos with GM execs on YouTube called The Case for GM. The company said it was reaching out for constructive criticism and two-way communication. Huh. Then why (as our friends over at NewTeeVee so astutely pointed out) did GM disable comments on its videos? From NewTeeVee: In his video Wagoner talks about what GM is doing in the midst of high oil prices, financial market crisis, and a weak economy. Wagoner’s remarks are the standard stuff a CEO would say — we’re looking to the future, blah blah blah. But at the end Wagoner invites people to leave comments (he’s “anxious” for them) and then says he’ll read them all. Easy to do when no one can post one. [...]

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