In Truck Driver Recruiting, Print Advertising Is Alive And Well.

Why Rumors Of Its Death Are Greatly Exaggerated 

As we saw in last week’s post, the exodus in recent years among recruiters to interactive and mobile advertising is nothing short of a media-spending revolution—and one that’s delivered, for any number of companies, unprecedented success. Nevertheless, to conclude that print is a medium that’s outlived its place in your own media budget would be a serious mistake.

Consider, for instance, these statistics provided by David Guthrie: Among the 750 truck stops that carry Randall Reilly’s publications, the average number of truck drivers visiting each month is 18,000 to 20,000. Moreover, among their seven or eight primary publications, pickup rates average 85 to 90%.

“As long as drivers have to stop for gas, print advertising is going to be effective for recruiters. For one reason, because those publications are free. When drivers are seriously looking for job, it’s not uncommon for them to grab a copy of every available publication.”

Joel Holliday, who represents Randall Reilly’s interactive offerings, is himself a huge supporter of print. “Look, it benefits me personally for people to spend their money with my properties, but I’ve seen companies drop their print advertising, and go from 400 to 500 calls a month to nearly zero. A smart media buy has both.”

Target Media Partner’s Meg Larcinese, a former ad agency media planning supervisor, first points to the medium’s one indisputable advantage: Print enables companies to deliver a complete brand message—incorporating copy and images in dimensions that simply aren’t available with job boards and mobile. It creates a stronger sense of involvement with the reader.

“Not only that, print demands more personal commitment in the response it generates. Think about it: Plenty of job boards enable drivers to broadcast an application to dozens of companies with a single click. When a driver sees your ad in print, then picks up the phone to call, they’re making a genuine commitment to you.

“And if an ad leads someone to visit your website or landing page, your time with them during that visit is yours exclusively. That’s why our print publications are still flying off the racks every month.” As a side note, Larcinese points-out how much easier it is to save pages out of a publication than it is to bookmark multiple online ads—particularly on a cell phone.

Which is exactly what has made Ken Schaffer’s Pocket Card Networks such an effective buy for so many recruiters. “Like the name says, our cards literally fit in a driver’s pocket. Or in their wallet. Because of that, drivers tend to keep those cards longer.

“As a result, we routinely hear from clients making hires off cards we’d placed for them three to six months earlier. You’re certainly not going to get that kind of long-term benefit from job boards or mobile.”

Granted, there are still recruiters out there who’ll tell you print simply doesn’t work—to which I’d respond: Maybe the problem isn’t the medium, but the message. After all, if you tell a joke and nobody laughs, it could be that your joke just isn’t funny.


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3 comments on “In Truck Driver Recruiting, Print Advertising Is Alive And Well.

  1. I couldn’t agree more! There is no denying that mobile and internet marketing is extremely important. However, in my eyes that doesn’t diminish the importance of maintaining a physical presence in at least a few venues. Some people connect by being able to actually hold things in their hands – this kind of advertising may be considered old fashioned and romantic, but that doesn’t mean in any way, shape, or form that it’s on its way out!

  2. Couldn’t ask for a more compelling comment than that. Thanks so much for the feedback, Amber!

  3. A lot of companies make the mistake in not tracking their success. So when you do print, remember to track the phone number or analytics to make sure you are get the best results.

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