Three weeks ago, almost two-thirds of the United Auto Workers’ members rejected a proposed contract with Fiat Chrysler. When members start voting Wednesday on a second proposal, the union hopes it will have made its case, this time through Twitter and Facebook.
Fifteen seconds on the United Auto Workers webpage solicits a pop-up ad. This one isn’t selling anything. It reads, ‘Stay up to date on everything UAW. Like us on Facebook.’
Peter Berg, an employment relations professor at Michigan State University, said many who will vote on the contract are young and getting paid the lower amount on a two-tier pay scale.
“Reaching those younger folks using these various social media outlets is going to be more important,” he said. “Those folks have a great interest in the contract.”
The UAW hired BerlinRosen, a public relations firm in New York, to put together the online strategy. Some UAW workers have already commented on the union’s Facebook page that they don’t like the idea of outsourcing. Louisville marketing professor David Faulds said it might be a waste of money.
“I would suggest to them to handle this internally,” he said. “And if they don’t have the appropriate people on their staff, well, it’s time to look at their staff.”
The auto industry isn’t the only one trying to tackle social media. Faulds said it’s about controlling the conversation with customers and employees, wherever that conversation is happening.
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