WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. – As a limousine operator, the benefits of chauffeured transportation are obvious. It’s convenient. It’s luxurious. It’s affordable. And it’s safe.
But getting that message out to the public can be tricky in a world cluttered with advertising. That’s where public relations comes in, helping get the message inside the magazine stories, newspaper articles, radio shows, and TV reports millions watch each day.
With this in mind, the National Limousine Association, in cooperation with Ford and Cadillac, is working with Los Angeles-based automotive and lifestyle PR firm JMPR, Inc. to help get the myriad benefits of limousine transportation out to the media.
“There isn’t a person in this country that sees waiting in traffic or depending on public transportation as an enjoyable experience,” said Joseph Molina, president of JMPR, Inc. “So getting the idea across that there is another option available for a reasonable price is going to help grow the industry in a meaningful way.”
In the first phase of the PR effort, getting the name of the NLA out into the public sphere is crucial. For most media outlets, a national organization of limousine operators is a fairly new concept — and simply understanding what the NLA can offer a reporter is an important message to deliver.
Once the NLA is understood to be a premiere organization representing more than 2,000 limousine companies, reporters will begin thinking of it when the news of the day involves chauffeured transportation and use its officers and members as experts in stories. Furthermore, they will be more attentive to stories in the limousine world, like the current hot-button issue of lax enforcement of federal regulations at airports designed to prevent over-billing of professional drivers for circling the terminals.
“These are challenging times to be in the limousine business with modern security precautions at airports, high fuel prices, and a tightening economy,” Molina said. “But it’s times like these that make the NLA all the more important to its members.”
With the guidance of the NLA’s Public Relations Committee led by Julie Herring, president of Julie’s Limousine and Coachworks, Inc., in Clearwater, Fla., JMPR has contacted hundreds of major outlets. They’ve secured interviews with NLA President Jeff Greene, owner of Greene Classic Limousine in Atlanta, on topics related to the prom season, weddings, business travel, limousine etiquette, and the Academy Awards in places like AutoWeek, the Los Angeles Daily News, Detroit News, and Car & Driver Radio, each reaching hundreds of thousands of readers and listeners. Greene has also appeared on numerous regional radio shows and been quoted in school-focused trade publications.
A key focus in the current PR effort is to get the NLAride.com website mentioned in the media to promote the convenience of this service, allowing anyone to search the database of NLA members and hire professional limousine companies in any city in the U.S. or many places abroad at one location.
JMPR has unique expertise in the transportation field, currently representing Bentley Motors, Bugatti Automobiles, Ducati Motorcycles, car designer Chip Foose, Hankook Tires, and many other automotive and luxury clients, along with past work for Ferrari North America, Automobili Lamborghini, and FlexJet. This experience allows the NLA to get immediate access to top media members who have worked on similar stories in the past.
“We want our members to see how our efforts as an organization end up helping them with their business,” Herring said. “It’s a matter of telling our story in a way that will appeal to the general public who are, in the end, our current and potential future customers.”