Multilingual Business Communication

February 21, 2009

GM and Opel collide

Filed under: crisis communication, lien van den broeck — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 5:13 pm

It’s not a secret that GM is in trouble, even though they were bailed out by the US government. GM had to come up with a rescueplan in order to benefit from the federal aid. In this plan, they announced that 26.000 jobs outside the US will disappear. However, the company didn’t mention the plants that should close. As a result, there’s a lot of turmoil in the Opel factory in Antwerp, which is a part of GM.

This is not a good example of crisis communication. With this type of communication it’s very important to name facts and figures. The more concrete, the better. This should be done as soon as possible. Instead, GM delayed the final decision until March, 31, as can be read on this link:

In crisis communication, there are 3 “sounds” one should remember. Ooh, stands for objectify, Eeh for empathise and Aah for action. GM clearly forgot to objectify as much as possible.

Now, the workers of the Opel plant in Antwerp fear for their future and will continue to do so, at least until March, 31.


1 Comment »

  1. Günter Verheugen, the vice-preseident of the European Commission, thinks that General Motors should be more transparent in their information towards the European authorities. Verheugen refused to tell more about the information GM is holding back. The European countries with establishments of GM-subsidiaries are gathering next week to discuss this issue.

    Nathalie Poelaert

    Comment by meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie — March 6, 2009 @ 9:47 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: