By NICOLE ZIEGLER DIZON Associated Press Writer
When General Motors Corp. wanted to stop speculation this spring that it might eliminate its Pontiac and Buick brands, Vice Chairman Bob Lutz took his case directly to dealers and customers who were up in arms about the possibility. He wrote about it on the company's blog.
"The media coverage on the auto industry of late has done much to paint an ugly portrait of General Motors," began Lutz's entry on GM's FastLane Blog, which the company launched in January.
The March 30 entry went on to say that widely reported remarks he made to analysts the week before had been "taken out of context" and that the automaker would not shed the brands.
A growing number of companies are stepping softly into the blogosphere, following a path blazed by Microsoft Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc. and others in the technology field.
The Internet journal format, they find, lets businesses expand their reach, generate product buzz and encourage consumer loyalty _ while bypassing traditional media.