RVIA Updates Members on Key 2010 Activities
Editor’s Note: From Gary La Bella, vice president and chief marketing officer for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), comes this update on PR Committee activities and Committee Week:
In our last update to the Public Relations Committee following a successful Outlook and Louisville show, we reiterated our confidence that the sun would shine again on our industry in 2010. One quarter in, with Committee Week approaching, our Centennial year is off to a good start with positive news that the RV market is indeed recovering from the nation’s economic downturn. Shipments are trending higher, and Richard Curtin of the University of Michigan is now projecting that wholesale shipments will rise by 30% in 2010.
RV Recovery Is Big News
Because of our aggressive outreach to media, stories about the RV industry’s recovery are appearing in top national news outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, ABC News, The Chicago Tribune, The Detroit News, Fox Business, the Associated Press, Bloomberg radio and U.S. News & World Report. In addition, RV lifestyle and Centennial coverage has already appeared in outlets such as The New York Times and National Public Radio, with more coming up as spring and RV Centennial Celebration Month (June) near.
Current coverage echoes themes and storylines promoted by RVIA — that the RV industry is a leading economic indicator, that RVing has remained popular even through the downturn and that RVing is cost-effective and offers a great value.
RV Centennial Tour
RVIA PR is in the final planning stages for the RV Centennial Tour featuring RV historian David Woodworth. The tour will launch April 12 from the RV Museum and Hall of Fame in Elkhart, where David will be available for interview via satellite by media outlets around the country. After that, David will hit the road in a Discovery motorhome Fleetwood RV has generously offered in response to an invitation sent to manufacturer members. He’ll tow a 1916 Telescoping RV to highlight the old and the new in RVs and to promote our key messages.
Upcoming Vehicle Loan Opportunities
We’re also working with several major media outlets that have requested vehicle loans so they can write first-hand stories about the RV experience. This type of exposure is important in establishing a positive image with a large audience of potential buyers in our target demographic. Publications expressing interest include Redbook (an offering letter went out earlier this week), MotorWeek, Ser Padres and Parenting. You will receive offering letters for each of these opportunities as we’re able to confirm details.
RVIA Committee Week in Elkhart
Looking forward, Committee Week will take a different shape this year as the industry gathers to celebrate our centennial, tackle the work performed by RVIA’s many committees and hold the association’s annual membership meeting. To maximize attendance and lessen expenses for many members, Committee Week will be in Elkhart/South Bend instead of Washington, D.C. To accommodate all the activities planned for Committee Week, a shortened three-hour Public Relations Committee meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 8 from 2-5 p.m. at the Century Center in South Bend.
We hope you’re planning to attend the RV Centennial Celebration on the evening of Monday, June 7, at the RV Museum and Hall of Fame. It’s going to be an energetic festival, reception and barbecue with a special one-hour program featuring entertaining videos and presentations saluting the RV industry, a cake-cutting ceremony and fireworks display to cap the evening. The party will be themed to salute the industry’s workers who are its heart and soul. Committee Week registration materials will be mailed out during the first week of April. We look forward to seeing you all in Indiana this June.