Twice now, I've been on a press event for a new version of the mid-size SUVs from the General. And twice there's been a thunderclap of news so big, even the PR people on remote weren't sure how to react to the press at hand.
Today, of course, GM announced 25,000 job cuts are coming. Not a pleasant way to ring in the annual shareholders' meeting, to be sure. But imagine your duty as the ranking PR exec with a handful of business-y writers, out in remote Quebec, with the news breaking and your BlackBerry empty of meaningful information to disseminate. You can read about the Saab 9-7X this Friday here at TCC, but the story's been a bit overshadowed since yesterday's drive, as you might expect.
Four years ago, it was the death of Oldsmobile that overwhelmed the splashy intro of the brand-new Chevy TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy and Olds Bravada. Down at the very tip of Baja Mexico, GM execs were one minute sunning themselves and enjoying fruity drinks - and the next, boarding planes to head back to Detroit and help man the PR fires alit at home. A handful stayed behind to explain to us writers why the Bravada we'd just driven would be the last of a dying breed.
If I were GM, maybe I'd just stop planning press events around these vehicles. I don't always believe in curses, but you never know.