GM, Tampa Bay Develop Relationship

Although it is based in Detroit, General Motors has forged an ongoing relationship with the Tampa Bay region to market its products by a lot more than advertising.

GM, which is engaged in a corporate rebirth, is working to connect to the community in non-traditional ways such as social networking and helping nonprofits.

"General Motors picked Tampa Bay because it was a growth market and had good demographics," says Dani Burrows, senior account executive at Tampa public affairs and communications firm Tucker Hall, which represents General Motors in Tampa.

Last year GM picked Tampa Bay as a key U.S. target market and Tucker Hall has been helping the automaker make connections and develop innovative programs to allow people to become more familiar with the company and its products.

Recently, GM dealership Century Buick-Pontiac in Tampa hosted a discussion on social media, the economy and non-profits. A panel discussion helped nonprofits share lessons, strategies and ideas for accomplishing more communication with fewer resources.

The panelists included Tom Wagner of the Florida Aquarium; Monica Kile of the Florida Humanities Council; Carissa Caricato of the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay; and Rafaela Amador-Carlisle of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. The event drew nonprofits, bloggers, Tweeters, do-gooders and people who wanted to become more aware or more involved in helping others in Tampa Bay.  

General Motors executives have visited Tampa Bay and are looking for ways to boost sales and awareness in the region, Burrows says.

"This past program was just one example of the many ways the company is trying to plug into the community and connect with it in a positive way," Burrows says.

Writer: Dave Szymanski

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