As 2005 gears up, it's natural to look back at 2004 and try to resolve questions that remain unanswered and challenges that remain unmet. One of the challenges I want to tackle head on this year is ga...
As 2005 gears up, it’s natural to look back at 2004 and try to resolve questions that remain unanswered and challenges that remain unmet. One of the challenges I want to tackle head on this year is gaining an even better perspective of our readers.
I already know you are hard working owner/operators, drivers, service technicians and fleet managers, of course. And our extensive in-house research provides me with important data such as how experienced you are, how many miles you put in every year, which products you prefer, even how satisfied you are with your current employer. But I want to know more – about your career, your thoughts on the industry and how Truck News can better serve your information needs.
Our editorial team meets with hundreds of readers every year at industry events, truck stops and the like. I communicate with many more via phone or e-mail. But understand this – it is the unfortunate reality of the news gathering process that people end up calling us when they have either the best of news (they won a competition or created a new product) or the worst of news. In other words, the stuff with potential to make headlines.
Take as an example the reader who called me recently to tell me how he was planning to shoot his boss (I had to talk him down). Or the reader who called to let me know that a recent fatal truck accident on the 401 was planned by the suicidal trucker himself, who actually made his funeral plans (and paid for the funeral) at the parlour the day before the accident. Or the trucker who called to ask me for legal advice when he found out the company he was working for had jilted him and 120 other O/Os of at least half the fuel surcharges they were due.
While I am happy to help those who are upset, if I can, and proud for those reporting achievements, I also know they don’t necessarily make for an accurate picture of our typical readers – those of you who go about quietly doing your work every day with little notice. Your stories are just as important to me.
So I’m turning to you – the readers of this column, – in the hopes that you can help me add the last few critical brush strokes necessary to creating an accurate portrait of our typical reader.
Next issue we’ll be introducing a regular feature – Reader of the Month – which will focus on who exactly you are. The success of it will depend on you. It’s up to you to send a photo of yourself (you can e-mail a jpg or send it via snail mail, see the address and e-mail address on this page) as well as a description of what you do in the industry and what you’d like to see happen – in your own career, in the industry, and even in the pages of Truck News itself.
We’ll feature your submissions in our pages and hopefully by this time next year I’ll be able to report back with an even more precise picture of exactly who you are! Happy New Year!