PHILADELPHIA — Executives with Trucking Moves America Forward reported here on Oct. 18 at the American Trucking Associations' Management Conference & Exhibition that the group dedicated to creating a positive image for trucking is hitting its fundraising and advocacy goals for its second year of operation.
TMAF, whose members include several trucking associations as well as motor carriers and industry suppliers, seeks “to ensure that policymakers and the public understand the importance of the trucking industry to the nation’s economy, and to build the political and grassroots support necessary to strengthen and grow the industry in the future.”
The group said that it has so far secured $750,000 toward this year’s goal of $1 million in fundraising. That include a $100,000 pledge from the American Trucking Associations, which matched its donation for last year.
TMAF Chairman Steve Ponder, vice president of Great West Casualty Co., said that along with the raising funds, this year the group is also engaged in supporting both federal and state advocacy efforts on behalf of trucking as well as seeking to more directly “engage” trucking companies and suppliers in promoting a positive image for the industry.
Ponder said the group is working to leverage social media to tell trucking’s story to as wide an audience as possible. “We want to tap into the social networks of trucking companies, drivers and suppliers because research shows that knowledge of trucking grows exponentially when people know someone in trucking,” he pointed out. “Trucking has a great story to tell and we are happy to help tell it.”
Recently, the group put together a two-month ad campaign designed specifically “to encourage Congress to pass a long-term highway bill” and a “Washington Top News” drive-time radio program for two months aimed at members of Congress and their staffs, noted ATA Senior Vice President of Communications Elisabeth Barna. Also, she said TMFA ran a consumer-oriented ad campaign in major newspapers during the recent National Truck Driver Appreciation Week.
TMAF co-chairman Kevin Burch, president of Jet Express, advised that the group’s goal of “wrapping” 100 trailers with special graphics is moving along with 30 units completed so far.
The wraps cover the two sides and rear of a trailer and dramatically present a “rolling billboard” TMAF industry message and the company’s logo. The installed cost of each wrap is $2,300, Burch noted.