Lee's 'Better Communication Results' blog

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Thursday, June 09, 2005

73 year old VP of GM and how/why he blogs

Debbie Weill has a great post today on her interview with GM's Gary Grates, VP Comms for North America.
"Bob Lutz, our 73-year-old vice chairman, was on a plane coming back from Europe when he started writing a response to some posts about GM he'd read on other blogs. He said, 'What do I do with this?'"

Grates told GM's communications techies to drop what Lutz had written about the new Saturn design into the Movable Type template being readied. And [the GM] Fastlane [blog] was born (on Jan. 5, 2005)...

"The worst thing we (GM) can do is make (blogging) a process or a program that needs to be serviced or funded." Currently about 3 techies and 3 or 4 communications managers work on the blog but it's not an official part of anyone's job description. Grates and several direct reports review the hundreds of comments posted to Fastlane before they go live. They usually get the comments up within 24 hours.

And yes, Lutz writes all his own posts and then emails them to the tech staff who drop them into the blog." As for what Lutz chooses to write about, "He juxtaposes his response to reader comments with what he wants to write about next," Grates said. "There's no science to it."

So proof that blogging from the top need not be a hard thing to do -- all that is needed is willingness to engage with the external community.