Motorcoach Council Retains PR Firm

Posted on October 20, 2010 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

The Motorcoach Council hopes to enhance public perception of motorcoach travel, expand the overall market, and increase ridership nationwide.

DENVER — The MOTORCOACH COUNCIL recently retained Philadelphia-based public relations firm BARTON GILANELLI & ASSOCIATES (BGA) to broadcast the Motorcoach Council’s mission “to promote public awareness about the availability, selection, usage and benefits of motorcoach transportation.”

BGA, the public relations agency for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) for the past 21 years, played a key role in changing the public’s perception of recreational vehicles, contributing to the success of the industry’s “Go RVing” marketing campaign.

Through this relationship, the Motorcoach Council hopes to similarly enhance public perception of motorcoach travel (sophisticated tour and charter buses used for conventions, shuttles, individual or group travel), expand the overall market, and increase ridership nationwide. By collaborating with BGA, the Motorcoach Council aims to capture the attention of TV producers, magazine editors and travel writers at the highest levels of print and broadcast media.

BGA brings two successful communications professionals to the table, Frank Gilanelli and Ronni Barton. Gilanelli’s experience includes many markets, including the automotive, leisure and recreation sectors. Barton has a background as a broadcast newswriter, savvy media director, marketing communications director and political media consultant. Barton Gilanelli’s staff of communications professionals has worked with national corporations and associations nationwide. The work the agency has done for RVIA is what appealed most to the Motorcoach Council, knowing several parallels exist between the PR challenges RVIA once faced and those now felt by the motorcoach industry.

BGA has generated an extraordinary volume of positive media coverage for RVIA over the past 21 years, using an aggressive, proactive public relations strategy. As a result, the RV industry has enjoyed decades of media coverage in large-circulation publications such as Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report and Parade, and every major newspaper, network morning show and evening news broadcast in the country. HGTV even airs an annual one-hour RV special as a result of BGA’s ongoing public relations effort.

“I believe North Americans are ripe for change and looking for new travel solutions,” said Heather Horton, executive director of the Motorcoach Council. “The general public simply needs to be informed about the latest findings on the environmental benefits of motorcoach transportation and the luxury, comfort, convenience and value our coaches provide. Once realized, I believe we’ll see a significant shift in favor of our services, as we’re clearly the smarter, ‘greener choice’ for group travel.”

The changes the Motorcoach Council hopes to make are generational. The media coverage generated through BGA is directed at the consumer, the end user of the products and services the motorcoach industry provides. The ultimate success of the campaign not only depends upon public perception and acceptance of motorcoach transportation, but on the support and synergy of the motorcoach industry’s vendors, suppliers, associations, operators and other key players (organizations whose livelihood depends on the motorcoach industry’s vitality). To get involved, industry members may visit www.MotorcoachCouncil.org/involved.


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