Clint and I jumped in our Big Ol’ Dodge pick-up and drove to Tunica, MS this past weekend to attend the 1st Annual Truck Driver Social Media Convention. This is my serious post about that convention. I want to get this out of the way so that I can post from the housewife side later! LOL
So, first off let me say that I take the trucking industry very seriously. I take all industry seriously because I see our government getting bigger and bigger and taking my freedoms away slowly but surely and I do believe there has to be a way to wake up the public and get them moving. I commend any person or organization that is trying to make that happen. I’ve been a part of the trucking industry for over 10 years and I’ve heard drivers from every walk of life ask the same questions and complain about the same issues over and over again. So while Clint kept asking me, “now why are we going to this social thing?”, I remained positive that something was going to come of this. (I’m mis-quoting my BigRigHero to make my own points here, so don’t go giving him a hard time)
The most important thing I learned this weekend is a part of my favorite quote from the convention:
there are 13 million CDL holders; what if we said it 13 million times
Richard Wilson said that. He is the Safety and Regulatory Manager, Regulatory Consultant and Trainer with Trans Products & Tran Services. Social media needs to be used to “unite” drivers and help them become one voice that can affect what is happening regarding the rules and regulations on the trucking industry. This was the message I felt was most important in the convention. We need to let all drivers know that there are thirteen million of them; 13,000,000 of them; 13 with six zeros behind it… that’s a lot of drivers. Can you imagine if 13 million CDL holders showed up at a public meeting in Washington, DC? It would make the Million Man March look like a cake walk (no offense to that organization intended whatsoever!!!).
James McCormack, with Trucking Careers of America spoke about new drivers and I have to admit, at first I didn’t see how his presentation had anything to do with uniting drivers and using social media to affect change. However, companies are now discouraging their new drivers from turning on and using the CB radio, so that line of communication is dwindling, but those new drivers sure do tweet! I feel like the experienced drivers can use social media as a new means of communicating with those still wet behind the wheels… err… ears!!
Eddie Gichuhi from Trip Sheet Central also spoke of the importance of using social media to unite drivers and become one voice, 13 million strong, to affect change in the industry.
Paul Taylor of Trucker’s Justice Center talked about how he uses social media not only for clients, but to get witnesses and even experts. He is an expert that would be nice to have on your side, so find him and be nice!! If he can use it successfully, so can drivers!
Landon Middleton is an internet marketing guru with Austin Walsh. His presentation was more for business trying to market to drivers who use social media. However, he introduced a concept that we in the trucking industry need to remember:
social media is a 2-way communication; it’s social, not personal
I believe we can use that concept to “unite” drivers, keep the conversations fresh and relevant, and get our government and the public to listen!
By the way, as a trucker’s wife, I make the voice 13million and ONE… I hope you’ll join the conversation!!