Final Word from Friday, December 10, 2004

"PR is everywhere," said Publisher Philippe Riboton of The Prague Tribune, "in every line you read, in every picture you see." No company has had better PR than Škoda Auto. It's 100% German, but it's managed to look and feel Czech. It's routinely been rated the best Czech this or that, and its erstwhile chair, Vratislav Kulhánek, was named Manager of the Year, although everyone knew he was a front for Wolfsburg. Now Kulhánek is no more (he was booted upstairs to the supervisory board and is suddenly more famous for, um, not being a former StB agent). Škoda's media appeal has plummeted. It has to share the limelight with Toyota-Peugeot-Citroen's new factory and smiling Japanese CEO, and the number of people who can name Škoda's new German chairman can fit inside a Fabia. From a PR standpoint, Škoda picked a strange time, German to become. [public relations Volkswagen VW Czech Republic Germany P.R. TPCA]


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