The world of motoring PR today is an odd mix – crisis management with the news of California suing the industry over emissions, Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond injured in pursuing extreme driving for tv audiences and the death of a true gentleman of automotive journalism, Stuart Marshall at the age of 82.
A common theme might be driving responsibly – are car makers really to blame for the urge of the world for personal mobility, and where are the choices in affordable, convenient and high quality public transport? Do we have a right to drive fast and risk our own lives on racetracks – and coming on the heels of Steve Irwin, is too much expected of presenters today like modern gladiators in the arena of micro-attention spans?
Journalists like Stuart Marshall didn’t face such pressures – they politely and competently sought out stories, interviewing executives and building relationships that lasted a lifetime. A true gentleman according to the response of the automotive PR world in hearing the news of his death.That reputation comes from taking a personal responsibility for how you are viewed – something I’m sure Hammond and Irwin would agree with. Yes, modern media demands high adrenaline, but the passion comes from a personal responsibility to deliver great television.
And without personal responsibility and enthusiasm, the world is a poorer place. Those suing the motor industry should realise it is passion and personal responsibility that will solve environmental problems not legislation and state control over individual behaviour.