GMI Drives Changes In OEM Relations
After years of isolation, GM is embracing GMI on a whole new level.
July 12, 2010
By: Nick Saporito
Over the last several weeks GMInsideNews has gained two memberships that represent General Motors on a more official basis. The additions mark another milestone in GMI’s attempt to bridge the gap that formerly existed between the site and the company it follows. The two new members represent GM on two continents—the United States and Australia, and are here to assist and converse with GM’s most-dedicated enthusiasts.
On the Australian side GMI has gained member “Holden.” The Holden account is ran by Andrea Matthews, Corporate Affairs Manager for GM Holden Ltd. Matthews states that she became aware of the site when GM was launching the Pontiac G8 in North America.
“It was exciting to see the anticipation for the car and the debate around specs, features, performance, mods, etc, etc. I think because I'm based at the factory in South Australia where we made the G8, it was even more important for me personally to hear first hand from our customers and owners as they took delivery of their G8s,” Matthews said.
Since establishing a journalistic relationship with GM Holden in late 2009, GMI has become an example for Holden in regards to online communities.
“That quality debate and enthusiasm for Holden is why we've been so keen to invite Australian GMI members along to our media announcements and drive programs and are more than happy to let members like Michael McWilliams (MikMak) borrow our media cars for his drive reviews. As for Mark (BBDOS CV8) - the volume of stories he put together following our MY10 drive program was inspired.... I hold him up as an example of why we now extend many of the same courtesies to our online community as we do for traditional media,” stated Matthews.
Matthews closed by saying Holden has “plenty” of news stories in the pipeline and GMI will be among the first to know.
GM’s second official account is member “GM Customer Service.” The face behind this user is Jared Duane. Duane is part of GM’s Social Media Customer Service Team, a group formed in November 2009 that was originally intended to work with Facebook and Twitter. In April GM expanded the team and they now participate in over 30 online forums, GMI being among the first.
Duane says he was a GMI reader prior to being assigned to engage with GMI members on an official basis and that he enjoys his time on the site.
“I am thrilled to be able to provide social media support on a great vehicle related site like the GMInsideNews Forum! This site makes it fun for me to come to work and get the chance to not only read the opinions of the editors with their articles on the main page but the feelings of the community as well,” said Duane.
Over GMI’s eight-year history the site has amassed several hundred GM employees registered on the site— many of which are active. However the Holden and GM Customer Service accounts are the first two “official” accounts that GM has ever established with the site.
In mid-2009 GMI began to establish a journalistic relationship with General Motors and other OEMs after years of the site being isolated from the industry's communications. Today GMI has GM press fleet on two continents and is in talks with other OEMs as well.
Ed Note: Many of you have already seen the "Holden" and "GM Customer Service" accounts, but I felt we should introduce them the whole community since they are here as officials from GM.