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Mercedes-Benz Gets Personal

Posted by: Jennie Fiala

As senior public relations students working for the Chicago Auto Show, Rose Mayo and I have been on the lookout for real world experience and advice. While working here, we met several helpful and inviting individuals from Mercedes-Benz. They offered us advice and insight in regards to the auto industry.

We had the privilege of meeting the Product and Technology Public Relations Specialist, Dan Barile, of Mercedes-Benz.

We learned that one of the most important things in customer service; it’s the basis for building a successful company. Every single Mercedes comes with a roadside assistance package, no matter where a person is in the U.S., if something happens to the car they’ll come pick you up no matter what. Dan started with Mercedes in 2007; he talked about how networking and meeting different people is crucial to a person’s future. He stresses the importance of being outgoing and friendly because you never know who you’ll meet.
At Mercedes there is a three-part public relations department break down. Dan works in the product and technology department. They’re main concern is how the car performs and who’s noticing that performance. Other departments include a corporate department and an “entertainment” based department. One very special and exciting event that Mercedes holds for their press is driving presentations. Mercedes brings in journalists from different countries and has them drive the new vehicle for roughly 300 miles to get a feel; it’s a unique marketing tool that gets journalists buzzing about new Mercedes vehicles.

Rose and I learned that as a PR professional you won’t have all of the answers. Dan said that the important thing is to be prepared and accommodating to the media and public. They are your life support and the same goes for any large automaker. When a new product comes out Mercedes will release a long lead which means the event will be happening in several months. This type of media tool is more suited for large print publications while a short lead is for local events such as a new dealership opening or closing. The fact is Mercedes-Benz is a world-class automaker with offices all around the world. They are dedicated to continually creating luxury vehicles and will remain one of Forbes “100 Best Companies to Work For.” If you have a chance, check out the Mercedes-Benz floor space at the Chicago Auto Show!

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