Friday, July 17, 2009


This week the Ontario government announced a new rebate program aimed at encouraging consumers to buy fully electric cars like the coming-soon Chevrolet Volt. I’ll set aside the pro and con comments which led the story, and focus again on a great quote from GM v-p of corporate affairs Chevrolet Volt, who set all of that aside and re-framed the story thusly: “The question for the next 100 years is, who is going to reinvent the automobile? GM is reinventing the automobile.” That’s obviously a corporate key message for the automaker, and the kind of line you’re never going to deliver in response to an ideal set-up question from a reporter, because they just don’t lob ‘em like that. So what does a savvy communicator do? He creates the opportunity for himself, rhetorically posing the “real” question underlying the issues at hand, and then following through with the answer. It’s a clever technique and, as evidenced by the play the quote got in the Globe & Mail, it works.

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