LDV is leading the way in online crisis management according to a specialist in the field.
The company has not made a vehicle since December and its 850 staff have been told to stay at home to wait for news on whether an investor will step in to buy the struggling company from its Russian owner Gaz.
Since its production shutdown in December LDV staff have endured a protracted period of anxious waiting to see whether they will keep their jobs.
During this time employees have been able to access the LDV blog, set up at the start of the crisis, which features regular updates about the company as well as general announcements, for example about free tickets for football matches for employees.
The site also has a forum where employees can discuss the issues.
Jonathan Hemus, director of Insignia, a reputation management and communication consultancy specialising in crisis and issues management, said LDV was leading the way in how it is communicating online throughout the crisis.
“LDV’s use of social media is one of the best examples of issues management that I have seen for a long time,” he said.
“When faced with a crisis or a battle for business survival, many businesses opt for the ostrich approach or, at best, a terse “no comment”.
“The view seems to be that company management is too busy dealing with the situation to waste time on communication. LDV has turned this on its head and communicated frequently, openly and honestly in a bid to create momentum for its survival.”
PR and marketing director Guy Jones for LDV said the blog had been a “tremendous success” from the company’s point of view for a variety of reasons.
“To communicate by post is a very slow and laborious process so we set it up to communicate quickly with everyone,” he said.
“It has given people a forum to discuss that information and also it’s good for our corporate position that we are very open and transparent.
“In a very difficult time we are there and communicating in full view of the world - it’s a groundbreaking thing for a company in this position to have and to discuss in an open forum.
“It has also been very useful for the employees. There is always a thirst for more information and by the time you post one item, people always want to know the next thing. They expect something new all the time - people’s expectations are very high.”
He added the blog had been useful in changing the public perception of LDV as an outmoded company.
“It’s a very appropriate use of the latest technology. A lot of people across the West Midlands have this outdated view of LDV as a old-fashioned company but this shows the attitude of the new management.
“We have got cutting-edge technology in our electric van and what we are doing online shows that this applies right across the business.”
Mr Hemus said: “By communicating so fully and so frequently via its blog, LDV has helped to fill the information vacuum and ensure that the company’s perspective is heard and understood.
“Anyone - employees, journalists, potential investors, customers, dealers - who wants to know the latest information will surely go to this blog as their first port of call.
“This means that it retains control over the way that the situation plays out, and reduces the potential for mis-information, misunderstandings, rumours and speculation."