Pushing back with positive press

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2013 Convoy-5292

Another weekend full of truckers raising money for charity, and not one mainstream news agency there to pick it up. Video of the recent Special Olympics convoy appeared online Sunday with a lot of questions from concerned citizens.

“Are we in the Twilight Zone?”

“This is Interstate 64, Richmond. No idea what’s going on. This is getting more and more bizarre.”

You can hear the panic in their voices as they wonder why in the world a bunch of dirty truckers would come together, and even worse, what in the world they hoped to accomplish by scaring the wits out of normal people by having the nerve to form a convoy.

This is ridiculous.

Are you kidding me that not one single local or national news agency had the sense to go out and cover a charity event that raised hundreds and thousands of dollars for Special Olympics? It’s not like it’s an obscure charity — it’s probably one of the most well-known organizations out there. When we participated in Joplin, the streets were lined with people, but was there a news van in sight? Heck no.

And here’s why.

No one wants to see good things anymore. It’s not click bait if it doesn’t include an explosion or the imminent demise of the species. News agencies follow trends, and the trend right now is to promote as much bad press for the trucking industry as possible.

Now I’m not saying they’re picking on the industry — Lord knows it creates enough bad press for itself. If we could get a week or two marked on the calender without a story about a driver who slams into a bus full of school children because he might have been distracted by his naked shotgun rider under our proverbial belts, the mainstream news might be more inclined to produce positive stories.

It’s time to push back. It’s time to show a better image of the industry. If you promote a trucking event, especially if it’s a charity event, push your local news to be there. They all have Facebook pages now — bombard them until they either block you (this may or may not have happened to me more than once) or pay attention to you. Twitter is a tool, and it’s an aggravating tool, but it gets information to the masses in quick and succinct fashion. Use the force for good, Luke.

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There are as many good trucking stories as there are bad, and while there will always be bad press, it would be nice if we could get just a little more recognition of the countless dollars raised for numerous charities by the truckers. It’s time for the people we raise all this money for to step in and help out – I’d venture to say Special Olympics has a helluva marketing team, it wouldn’t hurt for them to throw the industry a bone or two in the “good press” column. It would be nice to see them parlay this recent spark of internet interest into a Good Morning America spot about how much money these convoys raise each year.

Just an idea, if anyone is listening…