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April 2, 2014
General Motors – Beyond PR
Five professional women sat and watched Mary Barra, General Motors' new CEO, on C-Span testifying before a congressional committee yesterday and decided she did okay — "with a combination of empathy for victims, assurances of changes made and continuing, and reliance on an investigation that forestalled many answers to questions." Bosh!

GM is beyond PR and anything other than the most pitiless appraisals of how it could have been so cavalier about its obligations to safety and the victims of unsafe management systems. Don't, PR colleagues, be taken in by a woman executive seeking to apply all the arts you have so steadfastly urged on clients. GM is beyond them.

Read The Wall Street Journal's coverage of the Barra hearing and the accompanying announced corporate moves, put yourselves in the shoes of victims' families, and see if you have an ounce of sympathy for an organization gone so badly awry.  

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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