In the News

This month, the Detroit Free Press ran an extensive article about ROUSH CleanTech in print and online. The article was picked up by dozens of other newspapers around the nation.

How did we secure the story?

We identified the newspaper for its ability to reach key decision-makers in the Detroit area. The Detroit Free Press is part of the Gannett media group, which owns newspapers throughout the country, including USA Today. We then pitched the story to the “right” reporter with the “right” angle. We initially outreached to the reporter in 2015, and continued to communicate with him throughout the year. After six months, we scheduled an onsite meeting for the reporter to meet with ROUSH CleanTech executives and tour our facility. Two months later the story appeared.

What was the message?

The automotive reporter covers the latest products and trends with major automakers. Our pitch took the angle that Detroit-area (local) innovation in propane autogas fuel system technology from ROUSH CleanTech was driving a trend on the national level. We focused on the fact that propane-fueled vehicles (including school buses) were increasing — despite the drop in oil prices since June 2014. We used statistical data as evidence:

  • Propane autogas vehicle sales have gone up year-over-year since 2012, including a 12,500 jump from 2014 to 2015 (Propane Education & Research Council).
  • More than 8,500 Blue Bird school buses equipped with ROUSH CleanTech propane autogas fuel systems have been deployed across the U.S. and Canada, in more than 650 school districts.

We “made the case” with the reporter that our local innovation resulted in propane vehicle adoptions locally, regionally and nationally. Once he accepted an invitation to visit us, we delivered our key messages for fleets and school buses.

How can this help dealers sell more propane buses?

  1. Be aware of the coverage, and realize that propane school buses are part of a national trend, and that they translate to real, bottom-line benefits to school districts.
  2. Use that coverage in your own communications and presentations. For example, the Detroit Free Press article can be shared with your customers as evidence that districts across the country are adopting school buses fueled by propane. They are reaping the benefits of reduced fuel costs, reduced emissions, quieter operation, etc. The Free Press article “shows” the benefits, and is far more effective than just “telling” a customer about the benefits.
  3. Think of ways to create your own local coverage. If you help a district transition some or much of its fleet to propane buses, let us know. We can help target local media to tell that story and gain positive media coverage for you. This helps all dealers by once again proving that propane buses are a major national trend.

For a copy of our school bus key messaging, please contact Chelsea Uphaus at chelsea.uphaus@roush.com.

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