PR Lessons from What Did Jesus Drive?

Former Ford and Chrysler PR executive Jason Vines’ new book, What Did Jesus Drive?, is more than an entertaining, candid chronicle of some of the biggest PR crises in the auto industry. It’s also a study and sharing of the mistakes made and lessons learned around these crises.

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And more importantly, it is a primer on the guiding principles that business executives within any organization should follow, in order to avoid, mitigate or survive a crisis.

And let’s face it: in the corporate world, it’s not a matter of IF your organization will face a crisis. It’s a matter of WHEN.

At a recent talk in Detroit, Jason said the key is to, first, accept that one will come sooner or later, and second, prepare for it by establishing your guiding principles and getting the entire organization to agree that this is the way everyone is going to act.

Jason’s recommended guiding principles are:

1) Strive to protect the safety and satisfaction of your customers. Letting legal or financial considerations trump this principle can hurt or even destroy your brand.
2) Communicate openly, honestly and only with facts. He says speculating is playing with a hand grenade, and lying is suicide.
3) Keep your employees informed – they are your best ambassadors.
4) Your PR and legal departments must work together as teammates, not adversaries.

The war stories that Jason shares bring these principles to life … and show why these guiding principles are so crucial in avoiding or dealing with a crisis. But don’t take our word for it. Get the book ( and read it.

One top political media consultant called What Did Jesus Drive? “… a master’s class, no holds barred, white knuckled ride of insights and wisdom for anyone whose job it is to communicate for a living.”

That’s quite a tribute, especially when you consider that Jason claims to have entered the public relations profession by accident.

We’re glad he did … and glad he shared his stories.

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