New Campaign Launched to Revive Trucking Imageby Jana Ritter - Published: 10/23/2013
With the acknowledgement that the public no longer views truckers as knights of the road but rather just getting in the way, the trucking industry announced at the American Trucking Associations Management Conference and Exhibition, the launch of a fundraising effort for an industry-wide movement centered on a positive image and a more robust connection with policymakers and the general public.
“The goal of this movement is simple — to effectively relay the essential nature of the trucking industry to the nation’s economy and the everyday lives of all Americans,” said John Conklin, president of the Allied Committee for Transportation (ACT 1). ACT 1 is a group of companies dedicated to enhancing the business environment of the transportation industry. They have initiated the campaign called “Trucking Moves America Forward” with a $100,000 donation.
The initial phase of the movement is the launch of a website at www.TruckingMovesAmerica.com, where creative materials, messaging and social media links are available to all elements of the trucking industry as well as the general public. Next, the full movement will be launched at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville March 2014.
“We want to reach policy makers at the state and federal levels as well as grass roots supporters throughout the nation and also the general public who may not know much about the trucking industry,” Conklin told reporters at a news conference during the American Trucking Associations Management Conference and Exhibition. “We also want to reach out to those who dislike the trucking industry today to share our message about the kind of trucks on the road today — trucks that are safe, reliable, efficient, environmentally conscious and technologically advanced. At last, but most importantly, it’s to tell our individual stories of what trucking has meant to us, our families, our businesses and our lives.”
Conklin said the goal of the campaigns is to raise $1 million a year over the next five years. The campaign’s fundraising chairman will be Michael Card, (who served as ATA chairman the past year). “One of the focuses of my year as ATA chairman was to raise the image and strength in the clout of ATA and the trucking industry,” Card said, noting that trucking moves 70 percent of the freight in America.
Card admitted the campaign starts with a big drawback in how the industry is perceived by the general public, a perception he realized especially during his chairmanship. “We weren’t knights of the road, we were really in the way,” Card said. “So when I heard of ACT 1’s proposal to start an image campaign I was thrilled. What I found when ACT 1 came to me, they weren’t alone. TCA has always been an image conscious association and a leader in this effort. The agricultural food haulers were very big supports. I went to Austin this year to the TEAC meeting and state trucking association executives wowed me with their enthusiasm.”
It will be a wide scale industry campaign involving everyone in the industry from drivers to company executives to companies that are affiliation in one way or another with the trucking industry, organizers