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From the chair March 2014

publication date: Mar 3, 2014
author/source: John Kendall


According to The Bluffer’s Guide to Public Relations, PR people should disabuse themselves of the notion that journalists attend press launches to learn about their organisation’s astonishing new product or service, because they really go to talk to each other and catch up on the gossip.


So it was very good of Renault to sponsor an event where journalists could do just that. 

The Association of Motoring Writers Groups (AMWG) is as the name suggests, an informal association of the professional motoring writers groups like the Western Group of Motoring Writers, from the length and breadth of the UK. The respective chairs of the groups meet a few times a year to discuss matters of common interest and take them forward for discussion at a meeting with AMWG’s PR equivalent, the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA).

So, what did we discuss? There was the matter of when press car deliveries can take place. Some delivery companies instruct drivers not to deliver before 9.00am, which could result in drivers sitting outside a house, waiting for the clock, when they might want to be on their way to the next job. Similarly some companies don’t permit drivers to phone the recipient of the car, which may cause problems if the driver is delayed. I’ll be surveying Western Group members for their preferences soon.

One day launches can be good, or they could end up causing journalists to work hours the European Working Time Directive would frown on with an early start and a late finish. One issue that hasn’t gone away over the years is the colour of launch cars. It’s understandable that manufacturers may want to introduce us to the latest shade of Midnight Blue but photographing it on a grey day in January may prove challenging. We like bright colours. So do magazine, newspaper and web pages.

Away from gossiping journalists, the Western Group PR driving day is starting to take shape. Vauxhall has kindly offered to sponsor a key and vehicle tracking system from ID-PR which should make vehicle allocation much easier on the day. So thanks to Vauxhall for their generosity and to ID-PR for agreeing to come along. We’re encouraging manufacturers who want to bring their classics along to do so and I hope to be meeting up with the Castle Combe team to sort out a few details. 

Writing of the summer, I’ve seen the sun over Somerset in the past few days. Don’t tell anyone…

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