Trucking Moves America Forward, a trucking education and image campaign, has reported a successful year in 2016, including expanding its member base, engagement with the public, and influence on legislation.
The outreach campaign has surpassed monetary goals for the year, raising $1.2 million in 2016 and will be introducing new trailer wraps for the upcoming year. These wraps work as moving billboards that can be seen by as many as 16 million people in a year, in a single city. As word continues to get out, TMAF expects funding to grow.
TMAF will soon offer smaller bottom rail wraps to allow trucking companies to support the campaign without needing to cover the entire trailer. In addition, it will also be offering what it calls 3D wraps that will appear to project outward (as in a 3D movie), to make a stronger impression on the motoring public.
So far this year, TMAF has sold 140 wraps and it is asking the trcuking industry to help it reach its goal of 200 wraps by year’s end.
“Since our last public update this past spring, we’ve hit new, positive milestones on so many fronts – from expanding our reach with a member database topping three thousand, building our donor base, and further engaging with lawmakers, the industry, the media, and the public,” said Kevin Burch, co-chairman of TMAF, president of Jet Express, Inc., and chairman of the American Trucking Associations. “Our progress is a testament to all that our donors and supporters have done throughout the year, signaling a bright future ahead for TMAF.”
Elisabeth Barna, COO and executive vice president of industry affairs for ATA, spoke about TMAF’s efforts to reach legislators and expects the campaign to continue its influence into 2017 with the incoming Trump administration. TMAF participated in Infrastructure Week in May, joining other sectors of the transportation industry in advocating for better roads and bridges.
“To keep our efforts moving forward, TMAF needs support from organizations throughout the industry,” said Barna. “We are building a true grassroots movement one step at a time. We are seeing examples of our efforts working, and we are thrilled.”
The campaign also made strides in social media outreach, which truckers and others in the industry cited as one of the most important ways to communicate TMAF’s message. TMAF surpassed 10,000 Facebook “Likes” over the summer and has more than 11,000 followers. It also increased its Twitter following by 25% and now has over 2,700 followers.
The movement added a LinkedIn page for sharing business and jobs news, as well as an Instagram handle, which was part of a handle “takeover” during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week in September. During that week, professional driver and photographer Shannon Royce shared her pictures from the road, increasing TMAF’s Instagram following by 70%.
TMAF also made strides in public outreach through advertising campaigns and media coverage. Through its amateur/professional campaign, TMAF portrayed truck drivers in family situations to show both the family and professional sides of a trucker's life. The campaign was recognized for its outreach by PR Newswire and was a finalist for the 2016 Platinum PR Awards, which recognize outstanding communicators, initiatives, and organizations in the public relations arena.
“If we can influence public opinion, we can influence policy,” said Steve Ponder, TMAF co-chair.
“Part of our efforts are to demonstrate not just the economic value of trucking, but to improve the image of drivers – proving that drivers are family members, neighbors, and community members just like anyone else,” said Ponder. “This theme was highlighted again throughout 2016 and shone through in a big way with our robust earned and paid media campaigns.”
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