MacAllister Transportation Uses Media Outreach to Drum Up New Sales Opportunities

By: Ryan Campbell, Transportation Sales Manager, MacAllister Transportation

Blue Bird and ROUSH CleanTech have been offering PR support to us dealers all year, saying that a press release or media event in our market would help generate more sales opportunities from surrounding districts. Well, we finally took their suggestion to heart, and am I glad we did.

MSD wayne propane paradeMSD Wayne Township in Indianapolis bought 20 new propane-fueled buses from us, and we wanted to make this purchase special. To show the community what these buses are all about — and why they are a good use of taxpayer money — we worked with the district to host a media event.

First, we helped them write and distribute a press release two weeks beforehand. In it, we shared facts about the deployment and quotes from the customer, and an invitation to media and the local community to attend a media event. A week later, we followed up by sending a reminder note to media, and then another one the morning of our press event.

MSD Wayne propane busesThe event started with a parade of the propane buses from our dealership to the school district’s transportation center, followed by the opportunity for media to talk with the district’s transportation director and a school bus driver. All of the drivers that participated in the parade wore shirts promoting their clean-burning propane bus.

Our goal was to generate as much media attention on this deployment as we could, so outreach efforts focused on news stations, newspapers and the local press. We knew that getting a buzz on social media was also important, to draw more reporters and spread the word. For us, the best way was to get folks from the schools involved. Before and during the event, the transportation director and assistant director took to Twitter to provide updates. We even had the school district’s superintendent tweeting and posting on Facebook!

The propane bus parade media event was well attended and a huge success. We gained media coverage that helped our entire community understand the benefits of propane-fueled buses, and learn why they are such a great addition to the school district’s fleet.

Since the event, we’ve received calls from neighboring district reps who saw the press coverage and inquired about the propane buses.

Organizing this event took a lot of legwork, but it’s not a complicated process. As long as you have a goal for the event, get the right people on board, stay organized and be prepared for reporter’s questions, the event will go well.

Here’s some of our media coverage:

Does a media event sound like something you’d like to host with one of your propane bus customers? If so, but need some help with the process, contact Brian Carney at Brian.Carney@roush.com today.

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