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As we enter the last quarter of 2018, I am delighted to say we have launched our PR campaign for RMI, and the initial response has been very encouraging says Jakkie Olivier, CEO of the RMI
We believe the time is right to speak to consumers and the motoring industry to highlight what we stand for and why it is important to use RMI members. The PR strategy, compiled during July and implemented in August, aims to raise the profile of the RMI and its constituent associations in the public space, and to draw consumers to RMI members.
Moving forward, we will be drafting regular monthly content to increase our voice in the market. We will be regularly tackling issues in the sector, educating consumers on their vehicles and road safety, and sharing our core messages.
The three initial core messages we will be focusing on include dispute resolution; assurance of quality standards of service and ethical trading conditions, and the importance of the upliftment of businesses and people.
We have received great enthusiasm from the media for the content distributed so far, and in the first month achieved over 80 placements. This ranged from our full articles being published, to mentions of RMI – all of which contribute to increased awareness of the RMI brand. Our placements have appeared in the motoring trade magazines and websites, consumer newspapers and websites, and also on daily news sites and papers. We’ve had hits in The Star, Automotive Business Review, Wheels 24, RandfonteinHerald,Pretoria News, South Coast Herald, Suid Kaap Forum, Car, Heraut Heidelberg Nigel, George Heraldand Bizcommunity, to name some. We also got exposure for our dispute resolution benefit in an interview on SAFm.
Through the different topics we decide on, the aim is also to give our constituent associations a voice in the media. So, for example, our recently compiled article on reducing road deaths through regular tyre checks included quotes from our tyre experts, Tyre Dealers’ and Fitment Centre Association (TDAFA). Each of our associations is doing great work in the sector, and we need to share and celebrate their expertise.
You may also have read or seen recent news reports on the growing trend of technology innovation across the automotive industry in terms of the empowered consumer. Today’s consumers are more empowered than ever before, thanks to access to information available on the Internet. When it comes to purchasing a new vehicle, many consumers conduct extensive online research and seek out peer-to-peer recommendations before narrowing their choice down to two or three models. While consumers still use dealerships to complete the purchase, research indicates that many South Africans are willing to conduct the entire car-purchase process online, including paying a deposit and arranging finance.
Beyond the actual purchase of a car, technology plays a significant role in improving the customer experience when owners have their cars serviced. In an increasingly customer-centric world, consumers expect a certain level of service in all facets of life, including the servicing of their vehicles.
RMI will soon launch a mobile app of its own, aimed at connecting consumers to accredited RMI members. App users will also have easy access to specials offered by RMI members in their area. From a customer service point of view, RMI members will be able to use the app for training purposes, to connect with other RMI members and to access up-to-date RMI news.
Our app will take the guesswork out of locating a good partner for vehicle care, and will seamlessly connect consumers to the nearest RMI member. Watch this space.