Last week I wrote about the big problem with driver appreciation week. The problem, I wrote, is that the driver appreciation message is contained within the trucking industry. To me, advocacy is at the core of the driver appreciation message. We depend on drivers for everything but who can they depend on?
There are a lot of folks in our industry that stand up for drivers' rights. Can you imagine the positive change that could be possible if other industries and the general public stood up for them, too?
How do we move the driver appreciation/advocacy message beyond the boundaries of the trucking industry?
1. Share More
This is a huge step. As members of the trucking community, it is so important that we share trucking industry related content. Infographics about trucking, pictures, videos, posts about what it's really like to work as a driver are all great things to share. Appreciation messages and content about the importance of drivers are exactly the kind of information we need to share with folks outside the industry. Hopefully, they'll share, too.
2. Engage Other Industries
What does trucking have in common with other industries? EVERYTHING! Because there are very few trades that aren't impacted by trucking in some way. Trucking related companies and organizations could find success reaching out to other industries. If we get numerous other trades and communities to hear and commit to our driver appreciation/advocacy message, we could create a huge network. Think of the audiences we could reach!
3. Encourage Truck Driver Fandom
People get really into their favorite sports teams, and when you know someone is a sports fan of your team, you immediately have a connection with them. There is a connection between people in the trucking industry, a camaraderie that bonds us. I like to think of trucking as a major league sport. People like me are the fans rooting on our favorite team. The players are the hardworking men and women who get behind the wheel everyday and win the game for everyone. #TeamTrucker
Contributing author, Jewel Jones was raised in the trucking industry. Her father started Meadow Lark, a freight logistics and trucking company, 30 years ago. Today, Jewel’s sister, Mandy, owns Meadow Lark Companies, and together they founded the first and only work wear clothing line just for truck drivers, Over the Road Apparel. The goal of Over the Road Apparel is to improve the image of the American truck driver and to help drivers everywhere succeed and enhance their careers. Jewel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.