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Why some car companies spoil the show with their treatment of media

Adel Murad
The Dubai International Motor Show never fails to impress. In 2017, the organization was excellent, the display dazzling and the presentations awesome. It is a shame that some companies bring the show down by the way they deal with the media.
One unique aspect of the show is the “Media Walk,” which takes journalists on a seven-hour tour to every stand in the show in a convoy synchronized with the revealing of new vehicles from each company. These walks are useful for those coming to the show for the first time, but for seasoned journalists the show is a chance to interview top and visiting car executives. That means dropping out of the Media Walk and returning to the stands after the scrum of journalists has moved on to other areas.
Returning to companies that were missed during the Media Walk for press material, one is mostly faced with blank faces of reps who think their work is done after two hours of the first media day. They claim that “they have run out of press material,” “do not have any” or “everything is online.”
The attitude of these reps is pathetic and works against the interests of their own companies. Some PR agencies make matters worse by defending the fact that they do not have to give out any press material — a challenging attitude.
For journalists the solution is easy: No press material equals no coverage.
While some companies go out of their way to serve the media and entice journalists to do interviews and support them with good photos and materials ready to use on USBs, others come to the biannual event empty-handed. This is true especially when dealers are in charge of the operation and focus on giving away “gifts” rather than press materials. Not a single company printed out the speeches of directors presenting new vehicles at the show.
The show is becoming one of the most prominent events in the regional motoring calendar and it is a real shame that some companies spoil the event by forgetting how to serve the media.
• Adel Murad is a senior motoring and business journalist, based in London. Email: [email protected]

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