This month will see the annual meeting of the motoring writers’ groups and motor industry companies.

While I know Kieron Fennelly will be representing thewesterngroup and has a few points to make on our behalf, I don’t know who will be attending and speaking for the other groups.

Neither do I know which companies’ PR departments will be represented. Years ago these were meetings packed with participants and those eager to make their voices heard from director level down. In recent times there have been fewer if any directors but a rise in agencies attending who work for a multitude of clients.  

The annual get-together now probably reflects how companies view their relationships with groups and with a few exceptions their lack of interest in or ability to work with the groups. And they wonder why they don’t get meaningful coverage and sales are sliding? 

Many view social media as the mainstream with bloggers and vloggers held in ephemeral respect, but with suspect viewing and follower figures like ghosts in the background of that Scottish Play.  It’s not a real world but an e-world. 

There are many tools available to get coverage. Social media is one of them and is not the only method but increasingly this is becoming the norm for lazy and lack-lustre PR departments. Knowing the correct tool to use for any job in any situation is more important than any tool itself.

The thinking PR or journalist will work with several tools to achieve specific results. Social media is fine for on-the-day highlights but follow ups in print or on-line articles must follow to give the fully rounded story context and conclusion. 

Will be interesting to get feedback from the AMWG meeting. More people I talk with lament the short snippets and no substance and I honestly believe there is room for both.

Whether the industry is ready to make this readjustment is something else, but it certainly has talented people who could make a difference. If they want to. 

Robin Roberts | Joint vice-chairman WGMW

Robin Roberts
Robin Roberts

Robin is the longest serving chairman of The Western Group. He’s been vice chairman or chairman for over ten years and oversees the annual Western Group PR Driving Day each summer assisted by the group committee and supported by group members.

He contributes to a number of outlets in Wales and the UK, including the Driving Force editorial syndication agency feeding the biggest regional news and feature publishers in Britain.

Robin specialises in the Welsh automotive sector and motor related businesses with interests in Wales and publishes which covers news, features, trade and motor sport in Wales.

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