Although the release announcing the demise of 4×4 & MPV driver magazine claims it is “the recession’s latest victim”, it is interesting to note that its editor and art director are planning to pursue “new motoring publishing ventures together, including a magazine dedicated to low CO2 cars.”
I am supervising two dissertations of BA PR students at Bournemouth University who are looking at the environment in respect of press releases and editorial coverage in the motoring sector.
Both have found a huge focus from both the PR and media side on “green” aspects of vehicles in the past months – perhaps not surprisingly. They are exploring other issues such as prevalence of “greenwashing”, message framing, journalistic-decision making and roles as gate-keepers and so on.
I’m not convinced that the public or other stakeholders of the automotive industry are yet recognising the motor industry as having a reputation for investment and delivery in environmental terms.
But that is clearly the direction that communications in the specialist motor sector is heading. Whether it is down to the recession, environmentalism or market forces, the end result is pretty much the same – at least in the immediate future.