MCIA reflects on successful Ride to Work Week 2015
The Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) would like to thank everyone who helped spread positive messages about motorcycling during Ride to Work Week.
Now in its 17th year, this is the second year the campaign has been extended to a full week. This has generated a wider range of participation, particularly among MCIA members, some of whom devised their own PR stories around the event.
For example Ageas Insurance issued a ‘top 20’ towns and cities for motorcycle ownership, while Devitt Insurance produced a series of blogs published on its Keep Britain Biking site, including one by non-riding staff who received motorcycle training.
Insurers Carole Nash built a giant ‘Motodesk’ – an outdoor desk at which a rider can remain seated on his or her bike. It also issued an amusing picture of a motorcyclist sitting inside an office on his bike wearing a helmet, which was much shared on Twitter.
Social media played an important part in this year’s campaign and was the platform on which many motorcycle related businesses, dealers and organisations offered their support for RTWW, through featuring the event on their own websites as a news item.
Both Twitter and Facebook were effective in allowing RTWW content to be shared, with much support from MCIA members and other partners, such as the Think! team, BikeSafe, IAM, Wheels 2 Work schemes plus many individuals.
NMDA publicised the campaign through its newsletter and dealers responded with some imaginative events, for example ThunderRoad’s ‘selfie’ competition.
The social side of motorcycling is one of the aspects which Ride to Work Week highlights and this was celebrated across the country with ‘one off’ events. For example Chesterfield based Via-Moto Honda led a ride out in the Peaks, with a fish and chip supper in Matlock Bath. The Iron Horse Ranch House in Market Deeping near Peterborough ran a Biker Night on Thursday and ‘Pit Stop Sunday’ during RTWW, while the MCIA held its own ‘bikers’ breakfast’ for staff and neighbours at its Coventry headquarters. Fowlers also held a ride in and bikers breakfast in Harry’s Café.
The RTWW team chose to raise the profile of this year’s campaign through Facebook, and with a very modest budget was able to engage nearly a quarter of a million people, many of whom are riders or potential riders.
The idea of encouraging staff who don’t currently ride to begin their motorcycling journey has become a major theme of RTWW, with Get On available throughout the week to put on a workplace event.
BikeSure gave non riding staff the chance to win a CBT, and introduced a casual dress code for staff who rode to work.
Suzuki gave staff members who don’t currently ride the chance to do a CBT and its riding staff were able to try new models.
Honda invited staff who rode in on Monday and Tuesday to try new models too, which inspired one employee who hadn’t ridden for a while to remember what she was missing and order a company bike there and then!
Honda also arranged its dealer conference to coincide with Ride to Work Week, which generated an extra buzz for the event.
Many MCIA member insurance companies gave free commuter cover for the day or the week, including MCE Insurance Group, Ageas, Carole Nash and ERS. This is a well-targeted incentive to convert leisure riders to extend their riding to weekdays too and one which is becoming a staple offer for RTWW.
Devitt Insurance also released a video which puts forward the case for motorcycling, using a mix of its own insight and generic messages, which have been developed in support of encouraging greater motorcycle use.
BikeSafe teams, Wheels to Work Schemes and MCIAC instructors also used RTWW to highlight their own services, which is exactly what the MCIA has encouraged all its members and partners to do. Even non MCIA members caught the RTWW bug, with Dr Martens offering a 20% discount on its new biker boots, which was extended to the end of June. MCN offered 50p off Motorcycle News and Siima gave a 20% reduction on its range during the week.
What was different about this year?
A PR kit, which was issued to members ahead of the campaign was put to good use, as were the press releases issued by the RTWW team. Many of these were shared in part or full across websites and social media.
This will also prove to be a useful document for members to keep for any future PR.
Steve Kenward, CEO explained the focus of this year’s campaign: “This year we concentrated on making sure all our members had a tool kit of PR messages at their disposal in the Ride to Work Week PR document, which was issued to them ahead of the campaign.
“MCIA members play a vital and increasingly important role in helping to reinforce the advantages that come with commuting via motorcycle or scooter and we are delighted that so many of them supported through directly retweeting and sharing RTWW material on Facebook or their websites, or by devising their own.”
“This campaign helped generate a great buzz among members, which we hope will result in more people taking to two wheels to beat the rush hour crush.”