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Go RVing Advertising and PR "Mine Media Gold" at Outlook Breakfast

The RV industry launched the National RV Trade Show at “Outlook 2013: A Golden Opportunity” with an informative, entertaining program hosted by RVIA Chairman Doug Gaeddert that celebrated the 50th anniversary of the show, provided details of the industry’s prospects for 2013, and focused on the industry’s advertising and public relations initiatives.

The event, attended by approximately 1,000 RV manufacturers, dealers and industry representatives, kicked off with a special opening montage of videos and comments from industry veterans tracing the evolution of the National RV Trade Show and the RV industry from the 1960s through today. Those participating in the opening included Carl Pfalzgraf, formerly of Atwood Mobile Products; Norm Jacobson of Lance Camper Manufacturing; Jim Sheldon of Navistar RV; Bob Parish of GE Capital; Debbie Brunoforte of Little Dealer, Little Prices; and Doug Gaeddert of Forest River.

Following a report on the RV industry’s continued recovery in 2012 and the prospects for the market in 2013, Go RVing Co-Chairs Bob Olson and Tom Stinnett partnered with RVIA Public Relations Committee Chairman B.J. Thompson and RVIA Vice President of Public Relations and Advertising James Ashurst for a multimedia presentation detailing 2012 accomplishments and 2013 plans in the advertising and public relations arenas.

“We have a strong public relations team at RVIA,” Thompson told the audience. “I’m proud of the work we’ve done to promote the RV lifestyle, combat misperceptions and position the industry as growing, vibrant and innovative.”

Thompson discussed a few of the industry’s media relations successes, including coverage on TV networks such as ABC News, FOX News Channel, and HGTV. He also highlighted digital media placements, and detailed RVIA’s plans to commit more resources to online outlets in the future.

“It used to be that people only got news from print publications, television or radio,” Thompson said. “Times have changed. More than a third of adult Americans own a tablet or smart phone to read news stories or watch video clips.”

This year, RV coverage appeared in several major digital outlets, including Yahoo! News, SheKnows.com, and MadeMan.com.

Stinnett and Olson reported on strong results from the new “AWAY” Go RVing advertising campaign following its first year. The pair emphasized the campaign’s strategic shift to focus on media brands that provide the opportunity to build cross-platform partnerships.

“Consumers are really engaging with our message,” Stinnett said. “We’ve experienced great success in our first year of targeting brand-building partnerships. Our co-branded initiatives with Great American Country and Outdoor Channel drew 46,000 new leads.”

The new ads, which debuted in early 2013, resonated with consumers, Olson told attendees.

“Our research demonstrates that consumers look favorably on what our industry is selling,” Olson said. “Our messaging about RVs allowing consumers to spend more time doing the things they want to do with the people they want to do them with — works. It reinforces the need to keep getting our industry’s message out to as many consumers as possible.”

Ashurst closed the presentation by discussing some of the plans for Go RVing in 2013. “Next year you will see a return of some of our best performing partners and the addition of several new offerings, including an expanded outreach to the Hispanic market,” Ashurst said. “One such deal is a sizeable partnership with Discovery Networks’ newest lifestyle cable network, Destination America, which will explore the people, places and stories of the United States while celebrating the tenacity, hard work and humor that characterizes our great nation.”

In addition, Go RVing will partner with Travel Channel on a media buy that will include the integration of an RV into an episode of the network’s popular program Trip Flip with an unsuspecting family being whisked away on an RV adventure.

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