By Nicole Roman, Account Executive

An integral part of crisis communication lies in delivering core messages through the media. When a crisis occurs, the difference between a speedy and successful recovery or a long and painful one depends on how well a business anticipates and prepares and sometimes shows a sense of humor. How the public views what has happened, and how a company responds, is critically important to credibility and reputation. Lack of planning can destroy in days what a business has taken years to build.

Chevy’s brand marketing team wasted no time. Instead of seeing the Regional Zone Manager Rikk Wilde’s presentation of the keys to San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner’s new truck last night as an epic failure, they saw an opportunity. Wilde handed over the keys to a 2015 Chevrolet Colorado — the dependable, all-new pickup that comes with “you know, technology and stuff.” GM had lined up Wilde, a lifelong Royals fan, for the postgame presentation because he’s a good employee and loves baseball. He has now become the poster boy for the #ChevyGuy.

GM hopped on the bandwagon and saw an opening to connect with the public and use a mishap to their advantage. They jumped on the trending hashtag #technologyandstuff and are already using it in Twitter touting the truck. Chevy is even making fun of themselves comparing Wilde to Chris Farley’s character in ‘Tommy Boy’. Wilde, by no means, was prepared for his televised segment and was clearly scared. He was sweating, talking fast and stuttering. The speech may have been a disaster, but Chevy has capitalized on the media exposure with a ton of free publicity for the new truck.

Now for the ultimate punchline: That 2015 Chevrolet Colorado is now part of a massive recall.