BMW seeks new media PR manager

Continuing the theme of interesting automotive corporate new media initiatives, I’ve been given a heads up that BMW UK is recruiting a new media public relations manager.

Mark Harrison, corporate communications manager at BMW believes this is a first for the UK automotive industry and it certainly is a brilliant opportunity.  It is a fascinating job, which ideally requires strategic corporate abilities, a passion for automotive matters and proven experience in new media.

This is pioneering work and a chance to maximise the opportunities presented by new media developments through the strong BMW and MINI brands. 

It will also require creativity as the post-holder is expected to exploit existing PR and marketing activities rather than splashing the cash of a dedicated big budget.

The job recognises the increasing blur between traditional marketing and public relations as well as challenges presented by dynamic new communication channels.  Monitoring, managing and influencing public commentary via new media is a skill set that BMW lists as important.

In addition, the company is looking for someone who can engage with a range of influencers and be tenacious, diplomatic, persuasive, creative – and reputable.

Quite a tall order, but evidence of the trends highlighted in :

“…the ideal candidates to help grow the public relations agency of the future will possess rare and perhaps even contradictory qualities.

For example, it should be clear that anyone dealing with the blogosphere should be blessed with exceptionally good judgment, since any lapse is likely to carry severe penalties. Such judgment typically comes with age and experience, which suggests that firms will need more senior people and will need those senior people to be more actively engaged with the media.

But at the same time, the blogosphere is a young medium—and this is an generalization that may be unfair to some senior practitioners—best understood by younger professionals. So firms will need to find either young people with exceptional judgment and wisdom beyond their years, or senior people with tremendous enthusiasm for the new and exciting.”

Holmes also noted that:

“Public relations people will therefore need to become expert in studying social networks, developing tools (as some already have) to help them map the complex relationships between traditional and non-traditional media, to identify authorities who are quoted or cited most often, to understand how and why stories that first appear in relatively obscure venues can have as much influence over time as an article on the front page of The Wall Street Journal.”

I’m really thrilled to see a real world reflection of these observations.  This is the type of role and direction that we’ve been championing through for the last couple of years – and as our chairman, Mark has been following online developments very keenly.  So it is great to see him walking the talk with this appointment.

If you, or anyone you know, would be interested in the position – contact Mark dot Harrison at bmw dot co dot uk for further details.  And, good luck.

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Heather Yaxley

Heather Yaxley is passionate about PR - teaching the CIPR qualifications, lecturing part-time at Bournemouth University and running the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA). I'm undertaking a PhD looking at Career Strategies in PR. I love sharing ideas and knowledge - connecting news and views by blogging on public relations and educational developments, especially relating to accelerated and active learning. I'm also a published author, qualified trainer and experienced consultant.

9 thoughts on “BMW seeks new media PR manager”

  1. Having been in the world of automotive public relations since the early fifties, it is great to hear about these two major moves to recognise the new Media;congratulations to BMW and Kia.
    Gethin Bradley
    MIPAA Hon life President

  2. Hello,

    I have had a life long love of BMW! Having worked for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (11years) and many movies etc in many capacities, I now seek a career move…in short while I understand media, it is the clientele of BMW that I have a feel for. Seriously follow ones passion in life is a top motto in my persona.

    I gave up that career field in 2000. Became with my English wife, property developers in France and England. While my marriage in England ended, my love of the UK has not. I do have a valid UK working number. Many regards Mark Corbeil (Canada) 604 202-5933

  3. It will be interesting to see how BMW Corporate moves to brand against the dealers that are using the BMW brand to promote their business via social media. In doing a few searches via twitter, I am unable to pin down the real BMW Twitter group.

    As Director of Marketing for a Boston-based staffing firm, I am in the process of launching “recruiting 2.0” which has taken some time/strategy to build up. In the staffing industry, it will position us way beyond both our local and global competitors who have yet to wrap their arms around new media.

    Especially in, what I anticipate is likely a down market, if I were driving the pr for any car company, I would be all over social media as a low cost/extremely high return marketing outlet.

  4. Meg – interesting to hear about your business’ use of new media. I tend to agree that this strategy does offer potential for communications in the motor industry – although at present, I personally feel more attention needs to be placed there on good old-fashioned sales. Social media is important in my view for monitoring what is being said and engaging with online communities, but at present, the real need is to get money into the business (dealer and manufacturer). The best way to do that is to work with existing customers and show them the benefits of servicing current vehicles or trading in for a new/secondhand one. For example, I took my Mercedes in for its MoT yesterday. I received a letter by post on Tuesday suggesting that I looked at a replacement whilst I was in the dealer – but no-one called me or bothered to speak to me whilst I was waiting for my car to be checked. Also, I will shortly need new tyres, but the dealership did not give me a quote or show me in any way that it will be the best place to have this work done. These are the basics that need to be got right now – rather than engaging with me via social media.

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