In 2004, Toyota launched "Toyota Driving Expectations" - a free-of-charge program designed to promote safe driving among teens and parents alike. It teaches defensive techniques against a backdrop of real-world scenarios in a controlled setting and was rolled out nationally, targeted to metropolitan areas in the U.S. where teen fatalities were abnormally high.
P2R Associates was selected for support throughout Toyota's Midwest Region. Support for the events included: public relations event marketing, local and regional media relations expertise as well as strong knowledge of Toyota and the automotive and consumer markets.
As a result of heavily targeting local and community media, a number of journalists and photographers attend both events resulting in an abundance of stories not only in the local press but also on their respective web sites and in the major market media as well. Several reporters actively participated by interviewing local participants and actually following them through the classes as well as in the vehicles on the obstacle course. A secondary outreach effort aimed at local community newspapers resulted in substantial follow-on coverage in the weeks after the events.
In addition to targeted event coverage, P2R was able to secure a number of pre-event radio interviews in Milwaukee and Chicago with Toyota senior leadership. In Clarkston, "The Car Show," a nationally syndicated radio talk show broadcast live and featured four, eight to ten minute interviews with the teens/parents. Media coverage exceeded all expectations and surpassed that generated in other regions.
When Toyota announced the launch of the newly revamped Tundra line of trucks, the company knew it would be up against some very stiff competition and when they organized the launch, Toyota knew that it would have to be a massive hit backed up by a strong, ongoing communications effort if to successfully compete in the auto industry's toughest market.
An innovative, grassroots "Prove-It Tour!" marketing campaign was developed that featured a variety of real-world driving opportunities held alongside major, regional events. P2R Associates was chosen to provide media relations and event support to Toyota's Midwest region activities for the two-year period of the Tundra Prove-It Tour and launch.
Through aggressive pre-event and on-site media efforts, creative news story-telling and relentless follow-up customer service to media, P2R secured considerable on-air interviews, readers and news coverage at these major events well in excess of expectation. P2R's efforts were a key part of a mix of activities directly responsible for creating positive exposure and acceptance of the new Tundra throughout the region.
Hybrid technology and "green" are important topics for many motorists in the market for a new car and Toyota is the leader in hybrid technology. As part of its continuing effort to educate consumers, Toyota developed a traveling educational exhibit called "Highway to the Future: Mobile Hybrid Experience."
The tour allows consumers an opportunity to test Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive system and learn about hybrid technology through a number of interactive educational exhibits. P2R was called on by Toyota to promote the tour at various venues and events throughout the Midwest and to maximize media exposure for the exhibit and hybrid technology.
Through extensive pre-event and on-site media and educational outreach efforts, the P2R team was able to secure numerous on-air interviews and extensive print, radio and TV coverage for numerous HSD Tour events throughout the Midwest. HSD Tour attendance was stronger-than-expected at all venues and the program has expanded for 2008.
For the third consecutive year, P2R served as part of the Toyota public relations team for the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. As in previous years, P2R's mission was to arrange and coordinate broadcast interviews, handle media relations and conduct other related outreach activities. Working in conjunction with corporate and local Toyota public relations and marketing staff, P2R scheduled and coordinated local and national broadcast interviews prior to, during and after the show's press days.
P2R contacted and coordinated with more than 25 national and local media outlets planning coverage of this year's NAIAS and successfully generated substantial interest in Toyota's presence at the show well in advance of press days. This proactive effort resulted in numerous interview and informational requests prior to press days, as well as media coverage that began even earlier.
The P2R account team secured numerous national and local radio as well as TV interviews for Toyota, Scion and Lexus executives, including substantial Toyota coverage during a one-hour network auto show special; one new vehicle "sneak-peak" and two national product unveils, as well as extensive show-floor and press conference event coverage. Additionally, P2R arranged one TV special segment interview that was used during the upcoming Chicago Auto Show.