No organization can thrive without a coherent and consistent messaging game plan.
The International Automotive Remarketers Alliance plugged in and produced on all media platforms during the last five years, expanding the organization’s inclusive professional reach throughout the remarketing industry.
As the IARA’s newest committee formed in 2020, the Marketing Committee hasmade its mark with the monthly Voice e-newsletter distributed to members and other communications that connect and inform the IARA audience. President Jeff Bescher and marketing and events coordinator Kim Glasscock co-chair the committee.
“It became apparent there was so much information we wanted to share,” Bescher said. “We started doing virtual conference planning and seminars and needed to get public relations, social media, and marketing all aligned. We said ‘let’s put a committee together so everyone is talking to each other and knows what we’re doing.’ We brought everyone onboard in getting information out to members.”
The Voice provides a variety of content, including messages from the president and executive director, committee and events updates, promotional announcements, and comments from IARA members. The committee aims to make it more responsive and interactive as The Voice gains traction.
“Don’t forget to share feedback on this newsletter with us so we can continue to provide the most relevant information to everyone,” Bescher wrote in the August 2021 edition. “Continue to watch this space for all pertinent information regarding IARA and the industry overall.”
Most importantly, the Marketing Committee can continuously show and underscore the value of being an IARA member, Bescher said.
Coming soon will be marketing and announcements for IARA meetings and events at the Conference of Automotive Remarketing, to be held March 22-24, 2022 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
Five years ago in October, the IARA formed the Social Media Committee, which was created to streamline the IARA’s social media presence to spread news and developments about the alliance while engaging directly with colleagues and followers.
IARA board directors and executive director Tony Long decided an online presence required the need for its own committee. Social media at first was handled by the Technology Committee, a body designed to explore current and new technologies that may be applied to the remarketing industry. The IARA created its first Facebook and LinkedIn pages in 2009, and opened a Twitter account in 2016.
The LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook accounts, which include pages for the public and members-only, regularly post news and info bits from other IARA committees, promote the annual IARA Summer Roundtable, provide agendas and links for conference registrants, and advocate for the Certified Automotive Remarketer (CAR) program.
Katie Rushing-Polk of Southeastern Auto Auction and Vick Kuzmenko of PRA Logistics are co-chairs of the committee, and serve alongside committee members Cynthia Meyer of Liquid Motors; Scot Ford of Auction Edge; Zach Leve of RPM Freight Systems; Stacey Petras of GM Financial; and Cassie Fennell of Design Works.
“The goal is to get a presence out there on social media and show what the IARA does, how it benefits the members, and what it can do for non-members,” Rushing-Polk said. “We want to showcase what our committees are working on.”
So far, the results look encouraging: The number of LinkedIn followers shot up from 437 in June 2020 to 769 in August 2021. On Facebook, followers rose 177 in June 2020 to 201 in August 2021.
The committee meets biweekly to discuss developments within the organization.
Rushing said one of the committee’s goals is integrate social media into an all-new IARA website. Its goal is to reach 1,000 social media followers overall by the next Summer Roundtable in Nashville, Tenn., in August 2022.
Press & PR
No media menu would be complete without an expert who can get other media outlets and organizations to take an interest in the IARA — and write about it. That role has been fulfilled by Automotive Fleet magazine associate publisher and editor Mike Antich, who also serves as IARA Secretary.
Antich, who became involved with IARA at the time of its founding, has been able to leverage his fleet sector connections accumulated from more than 35 years of covering and participating in the automotive fleet industry at Bobit.
A prolific writer, Antich has reported on nearly every aspect of fleet operations over the decades and has offered his expertise and insights to the IARA board. ■
Note: This article appeared in the IARA 20th Anniversary Commemorative Issue published in November 2021.