DaimlerChrysler’s Chrysler group is applying the same different philosophy to its Dodge Motorsports/Mopar Performance communications team as it does to the development of its new cars and trucks — a platform team approach.

A team made up of two of America’s top PR agencies — Golin/Harris and Cotter Group — has been named to represent the Dodge Motorsport/Mopar Performance public relations efforts for NASCAR Winston Cup and Craftsmen Truck, National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and International Hot Rod Association (IHRA), World of Outlaws, Dodge Viper and Chrysler prototype endurance racing and Neon Charity Challenge.

The platform team approach — first developed to speed development of the Dodge Viper — works on the principle of applying the best people and processes to a common goal. In communications, Dodge Motorsports/Mopar Performance brings in the strengths of marketing, motorsport operations, and corporate communications, along with Golin/Harris and Cotter Group, to bear on issues and events related to its racing activities.

“We’ve engineered a system that allows every part of the company that is related to our motorsports effort to participate in the development of our communications programs at the earliest possible point,” said Steven Rossi, DaimlerChrysler Vice President, Global Communications, Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge. “Everything is connected, from the highest corporate and strategic level to trackside services at every race.

“Historically, agency selection has followed a review process where strengths and abilities are measured against one another, and ultimately a selection is made with a degree of inherent compromise. As we return to NASCAR Winston Cup after two decades, our dealers and team partners deserve nothing less than a no-compromise approach to communications.”

Golin/Harris International has been DaimlerChrysler Corporation’s lead public relations agency for more than 10 years. The firm is headquartered in Chicago and is part of the Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE: IPG).

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“Our work in the motorsports realm has been growing significantly over the past two years, and this is the most exciting opportunity yet,” said Dave Gilbert, president of Golin/Harris. “This makes what is already a great partnership with DaimlerChrysler even better.”

Cotter Group, with offices in Charlotte, N.C. and Montvale, N.J., is the nation’s largest motorsport marketing communications agency. Started in 1989, Cotter Group has 90 employees and specializes in public relations, marketing, licensing, event management, publishing, automotive events and mobile marketing.

“This is the plum PR account in the racing world over the past 10 years,” said Tom Cotter, chairman and founder of the Cotter Group. “The Dodge Different philosophy meshes well with the different way we’ve tried to do business over the past dozen years. Our staff is honored to have been chosen.”

Rossi said DaimlerChrysler is creating something of an agency hybrid. “We’ve brought together two agencies with great reputations and different areas of expertise,” he said. “It’s an ideal example of how the platform team approach can be used to capitalize on a best-of-the-best approach in the highly competitive, cluttered and fast-paced motorsports communications arena.”


Visit DaimlerChrysler’s Media Services Web Site at www.media.daimlerchrysler.com for additional DaimlerChrysler news.