Papa Don’t Preach… Engage
Having worked on spreading awareness on tyre safety for years as a part of collective good corporate citizenry of tyre industry in India, it is gratifying to note that world at large is taking notice. People and organizations are reaching out to ATMA for campaigns on tyre safety or are reciprocating actively to such proposals made, a far cry from the days of yore when tyre safety as a concept was considered alien. After successful campaigns at different campuses of Infosys Technologies, Honda Cars and India Rubber Expo in the year gone by, more organizations are coming forward.
What helped galvanize the issue was a full day session on Tyre Care & Safety at last year’s TESS Conference, an international event organized by ATMA in collaboration with its technical partner, Indian Tyre Technical Advisory Committee (ITTAC). Actively participated by ETRMA, ETRTO, JATMA and several agencies involved in road safety, the Tyre Safety Session went a long way in highlighting importance of tyre care & maintenance in the overall context of road safety. Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport, Government of India especially came down to inaugurate the session and expressed full cooperation between the Ministry and ATMA in managing road safety issues.
Very recently, India was the host country for this year’s World Road Meeting organized by International Road Federation (IRF). As one of the largest events in the domain, IRF has been organising the prestigious World Road Meeting once every four years in different cities across the world. The theme for this year’s event was Safe Roads and Smart Mobility : The Engines of Economic Growth. Transport Ministers of several countries participated. ATMA got a pride of place as one of the key supporting organizations for the event and also set up a creatively designed dedicated pavilion on tyre safety.
However the event marked a change in strategy in creating awareness. So far, tyre safety campaigns have focused more on knowledge dissemination, distribution of literature and one way communication on steps to keep your tyres in good shape.
In a strategic shift, the one-way communication plank was replaced by engagement and conversations. Instead of telling the truth, it was discovering the truth together through creative engagement. Accordingly, a Tyre safety App was developed and as many as six sets of fun quiz on tyres and their importance were conceived so as to bring home the point of tyre safety. Over four days, ATMA staff fanned out to visitors with slick tablet PCs in hands loaded with quiz enquiring “How Tyre Smart you are?”. Exciting gifts for winners helped more people enlisting for the quiz.
An element of engagement on social media was also woven in the whole process considering the youth’s proclivity to share everything on social media. An attractively designed certificate for participating in the quiz landed in the inbox of participant in real time basis which could be shared on twitter and face book. Little wonder then, participation quotient remained high.
Another new experiment by ATMA that led to an overwhelming response was setting up of a tyre safety Pledge Station at ATMA Partners’ Summit held end-October this year. Partners’ summit is an attempt by ATMA to bring all the raw material partners and tyre industry on one platform so as to work towards development of sustainable, more fuel efficient and technologically advanced tyres.
Amid profound technical discussions at Partners Summit, a well-designed, creatively conceived Pledge Station emerged as centre of attraction. Actually, selfie station as a concept is gaining currency at industry get-togethers. Pledge Station gained on the salience offered by selfie stations and took it to an altogether new level. Participants were asked to take a pledge on keeping their tyres in shape using a large number of attractive props available on the spot. Creative instincts came to the fore and the participants, all top executives from Tyre, Carbon Black, Silica and Rubber Chemicals industries took turns to take a pledge through the best possible poses and got themselves clicked.
You can’t put down an idea whose time has come. Engagements/ two-way conversations increasingly represent the new rules of the game to build perceptions, shape opinions and sensitize people on issues of social importance. Road safety is a long way to go in India. However it’s the small engagements that will add up to big sum.