The United States Senate, at the request of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) and its councils, particularly the Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO), declared July 9, 2010 as Collector Car Appreciation Day. Individuals, car clubs and automotive businesses are encouraged to join in the effort to help raise awareness of the vital role automotive restoration and collection plays in American society by organizing auto-related events on or around July 9, 2010.
The event can be as simple or elaborate as you wish. At the very least, plan to bring a handful of collector cars together. While the event will ideally take place on July 9, 2010, be sure to choose a date that works for you – as long as it is around July 9. To raise awareness of your event and the important role that automobiles have played on American society, incorporate a media strategy into your plan.
Media List: Identify your local media and the key contact at each outlet. You can identify the city editor at the newspapers by looking in the paper itself and/or calling them directly. For television stations, you may want to start by searching the Internet or checking your local phone books. You’ll want to call the television stations to get the names and contact information for the assignment editors.
Celebrities/VIPS: Having celebrities and/or VIPs at your event is a great way to increase media interest. Consider inviting federal and state legislators that represent your district, your city mayor or other dignitaries to join you at the event. You may also invite local youth groups or organizations to further strengthen interest.
Spokespersons: At the event, be sure to identify 2-3 key spokespersons that the media can interview and prepare them with key messages in advance of the event. This will likely include an executive of your organization, perhaps a VIP and a car owner. For more info, see "Key Messages."
Signage: Media, especially television crews, will be looking for visuals to include in their coverage. Strategically place signage in the background of areas that are likely to be of interest to the media (behind the cools cars, for example). Make sure the signage clearly shows your organization’s name and the Collector Car Appreciation Day logo.
Pre-event Coverage: Send a press release to your local newspaper to encourage them to write about your upcoming event. Even if the event is not open to the public, the media may print details about the event as a way to communicate what’s happening in your hometown. A sample release is available here.
Media Attendance: Invite the media to attend by sending a media advisory. The advisory should go to the local newspapers and television stations. Make it easy for the media to attend your event by providing convenient parking and be sure to give them a cell number that they can reach you at. A sample advisory is available here.
Post-Event: Please let us know how your event went. Let us know if the tips provided here were helpful, if you used any of the sample materials, and please send us photos from your event and copies of your media clips. We would appreciate seeing the coverage and look forward to working together to build on this year’s activities. Clips, questions and comments may be sent to Jim Skelly at firstname.lastname@example.org, 909/978-6690.
Resolution: Familiarize yourself with the resolution by clicking here. Copy and print the resolution to provide to the media at your event. Offer a photograph of Senator Jon Tester and SEMA Chairman-elect Scooter Brothers presenting the official resolution, available here.