Trucking Moves America Forward continued to expand its outreach in 2017, to help get the word out on trucking's importance in the U.S.

Trucking Moves America Forward continued to expand its outreach in 2017, to help get the word out on trucking's importance in the U.S.

Trucking Moves America Forward has reached over a hundred million people through a combination of billboards, trailer wraps, industry events, and media appearances, the industry organization recently announced.

The organization, which seeks to highlight the importance of the trucking industry in the everyday lives of Americans, marked its four-year anniversary. It was launched in March 2014 at the Mid-America Trucking Show. The group detailed the movement’s efforts to humanize and personalize the trucking industry while promoting its economic importance to the nation.

In 2017, TMAF surged forward with its public outreach, hitting some pretty impressive numbers. The organization said it generated 17.4 million billboard impressions and reached 26.6 million radio listeners during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week alone.

It also worked through the media and said it earned 54 stories and 12 op-eds in national, beltway, and local publications leading to 83.9 million media impressions, more than double the reach of the previous year. This included appearances on cable networks like Fox News and Fox Business News.

Social media expansion was also important for the group, which grew its audience to 13,500 followers on Facebook and 3,600 followers on Twitter. It also made strides on the photo-sharing social network Instagram, growing 102% to 380 followers.

TMAF will release its Annual Report, titled “The Many Faces of Trucking” at this year’s MATS.

“Through our public relations, social and digital media, marketing efforts, and more, TMAF continues to grow and gain even more support throughout the industry and public,” said Kevin Burch, co-chairman of TMAF and president of Jet Express. “We’re excited to share our progress in our 2017 Annual Report, and we’re looking forward to continuing to share our message nationally on trucking’s significant and positive contributions to America.”

Elisabeth Barna, co-chair of TMAF and COO and executive vice president of the American Trucking Associations,  said that TMAF has reached its funding goal for the fourth straight year, raising $1.1 million in revenue and support. TMAF’s goal was to raise $5 million in its first five years.

Perhaps the most visible symbol of TMAF’s outreach is its trailer wrap program. It sold 184 trailer wraps in 2017. Last year’s campain featured new designs sporting fresh fruits, sporting goods, and other items to show how trucking moves common goods every day. The trailer wraps act like moving billboards and TMAF said that a single one can generate up to 16 million impressions.

Trailer wraps are sold for $2,300 and cost $800 for installation, which TMAF said can be accomplished in as little as six hours on site.

TMAF offers free materials for fleets or other trucking industry companies to do their own outreach. This includes videos, images for social media, advertising for radio, and sample speeches, available through the TMAF website. The group also offers a fact sheet that directs interested trucking industry members on how they can take advantage of these resources and the eight things they can do to promote TMAF within and outside of their organizations.

TMAF also issued a call for model drivers and workers within the trucking industry to feature them in an upcoming outreach campaign called Meet the Trucker.

TMAF mascot Safety Sammy, a cartoonish anthropomorphic truck, was also debuted last year and is scheduled to make its first official appearance at this year’s MATS. Safety Sammy will be available during the start of each show day at the Red Eye Radio booth and stage and will make his way around the show floor, stopping at several booths to greet attendees and take pictures.

“As MATS approaches and we celebrate our fourth anniversary, it’s amazing to think of how much progress we have made since inception,” said Burch.