When I was handed the editorial director's job of Transportation Media more than five years ago, I made two promises to myself, our staff and our readers. First, that the publications in our group ( M...
When I was handed the editorial director’s job of Transportation Media more than five years ago, I made two promises to myself, our staff and our readers. First, that the publications in our group (Motortruck Fleet Executive, Truck News, Truck West and Canadian
Transportation & Logistics) would make every endeavour to reach out to readers in as many innovative ways as possible. And two, that we would evolve into a multimedia company capable of telling a story in the best way for that story to be told. In other words, although the print products would remain our core, we would make every effort to engage our audience in ways that went far beyond that.
That has led us on quite a ride in recent years as we added more and more features to our Web sites ( ctl.caand trucknews.com),published special supplements on key issues, conducted and shared research, spoke at industry events, wrote blogs, produced a weekly Web TV show, put on an annual golf tournament, and organized educational seminars. And from the attention these new ventures have received, it’s clear you believe us to be on the right track.
The next stop on this ride is Twitter. If you are not familiar with this new form of communication, it’s basically an application that allows people to send short (140-characters maximum) updates to anyone who wants to “follow” them.
I have to admit, this new application left me rather skeptical at first.
To begin with, it suffered from what all these new electronic platforms do: a really stupid name for anyone over the age of 40 (maybe even 30). I mean, how serious does “Twitter” sound to you?
I also wondered why people would want to read short bursts that are the equivalent of a couple of sentences. And to some extent I still think that part is true. If the 140-character update is an update on what someone is having for breakfast, frankly, I don’t give a damn and never will. And I doubt any of you would either.
But what if that update was about some breaking news story and provided a link to find out more? What if that 140-character update let you know before anyone else what some important industry person we’ve just interviewed had to say on a key topic? What if it was a heads up that we will be interviewing a key person and that we could pose some of your questions if you send them to us? Would those 140 characters then be worth reading?
So far I’ve posted information about a range of topics from what a senior economist had to say about the economic recovery and what Volvo’s president had to say about sustainable transportation to the latest trends on transportation rates and surcharges and Class 8 truck sales. Following is a sample of my most recent posts:
“Just 5,953 Class 8 trucks sold in Canada YTD, according to CVMA, compared to 10,702 YTD last year. See next Truck News issue for more.”
“EDC on the economy: The freefall has ended, but the trek out of the valley will be prolonged and hazardous.”
“Cdn auto sector will see a repeat of last year’s 22% decline, reflecting collapsed US demand and restructuring of domestic production: EDC.”
“OBAC’s Joanne Ritchie accuses OTA of taking liberties with truth on speed limiters. Is she right or taking liberties of her own? see my blog.”
Or what if I could myself follow industry leaders or other leading news sources such as the American Trucking Associations, the Financial Times or Jim Tompkins as a way to stay on top of the latest breaking developments in transportation?
As with all new communication tools, I view Twitter as an experiment, but I’m betting you will find it useful. I’ve just started “tweeting” myself (as have contributing editor James Menzies and managing editor Adam Ledlow).
So far we’ve found it to be a great new way to get in the loop and stay in the loop. I’m hoping you’ll join Twitter and follow our posts. We have much to share with you.
“Even though we are in a downturn, if you don’t pay people what they need to survive they are going to leave”
–Doug Munro, President M-O Freightworks
Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry. All posts by Truck News