Friday, July 06, 2007

On recieving a pitch from Chevrolet

Mary Lide, an Intern at McGinn MS&L, a PR company of some size, sent me an email about Chevy's new sponsorship of the Live Earth concerts. I show her email and my reply.

On 05/07/07, Mary Lide wrote:

Because of your interest in advertising and marketing, Chevy thought you might like to know that it has launched a campaign to get the word out about its efforts to reduce petroleum consumption and promote advanced technologies.

Concurrent with its exclusive online sponsorship of this weekend’s Live Earth concerts at, Chevy’s multi-media campaign will also include newspaper, radio, magazine, out-of-home and digital advertising. Television ads will follow later this year.

Some of Chevy’s initiatives to reduce fuel consumption include:

- 1.5 million E85 FlexFuel ethanol-compatible cars on the road;

- A fleet of fuel-cell vehicles that don’t require gas;

- Continued development of the Chevy Volt plug-in electric hybrid car; and

- Introduction of more hybrid models this year, including Chevy Malibu and Tahoe.

Click here to read more about the campaign. And you can learn more about Chevy’s green efforts at

Mary Lide


McGinn MS&L, 2300 Clarendon Blvd., Suite 901, Arlington, VA 22201.

Confidentiality Notice

DO NOT read, copy or disseminate this communication unless you are the intended addressee. This communication may contain information that is privileged, confidential and exempt from disclosure under applicable law. It is intended only for the use of the individual(s) named above. If you are not the intended recipient, you are on notice that any unauthorized disclosure, copying, distribution or taking of any action in reliance on the contents of these electronically transmitted materials is prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please call us (collect) immediately at (703) 312-0140 and ask to speak with the sender. Also, please immediately e-mail the sender that you have received the communication in error.

My reply is as follows:

Dear Mary

I know that the automotive industry is trying to understand social media and that email marketing has a track record. I thought that you may like to consider the alternatives and their values in communication with people who are interested in advertising and marketing. You see, the whole paradigm has changed. Hopefully you will find out about the impact of Social Media next year on your return to University (unless you would like to attend mine where it is an absolute certainty).

If what Chevy is doing is interesting to me it will come via an expert practitioner blogger (in this case probably Heather Yaxley) through my RSS feed. By then the content will have been both edited and evaluated by a trusted third party. I will pull it from her.

On the other hand Chevy has chosen to use email marketing. It works. But, for me, it does not have the authority that Heather has.

Do I really want another email or to read newspapers, seek radio output, find a relevant magazine, gaze at poster and web site pop-ups or have my TV viewing interrupted as your campiagn suggests? Well ... probably not.

But, if Chevy has really got great ideas, advanced technologies, optimized solution and related benefits plus friendly ways of letting me find out about these things, that news will get to me when I really want to know about it. It will impel me to pass the good news on. Probably when I am not trying to write about how social media offers opportunities and how companies can offer their expertise do the promotion for them - which is where my interest lies.

One can imagine many marketers will be in shock and awe at the sheer expenditure Chevy will put behind this campaign.

A much bigger statement could be made if the same amount of money was diverted to help further reduce our automotive carbon footprint. CSR does really start at home. By all means sponsor the gig, it will help raise awareness about global warming and its dangers but why not Suggest to Mr Lutz that he cancel the ad spend and divert it to research.

Do it now. I know its late in the day, but there is the advantage.

Such a move will be a shock to everyone. It will really press the story home. It will be a huge corporate statement.

Of course it will also get tonnes of online and offline coverage. It will be a massive story about Chevy and how serious it really is about carbon emissions and will be a big boost to the sponsorship and the brand.

You would not have to tell a sole.
Word would get out.
It would be a massive story.
It would outperform all your current plans.

Otherwise advertise.

It is brave of you to pitch to a blogger. Thank you for that.

Kind regards

David Phillips FIPR

PS 'The tree hugger' is so dangerous - you got you plug too.

The Intern is from McGinn MS&L a PR company of some size
specialising in issues tracking and cultural analysis.