We’ve dedicated a lot of space in Talking Truckers to the relative merits of Print vs. Interactive media. And while we agree that online and mobile solutions are increasingly important (and effective) in reaching drivers in today’s recruiting marketplace, we’re still convinced the most effective media mix includes both.
Which brings us to a third option that’s often under the radar in media buying conversations—and yet, it’s inspired as much long-term loyalty among carriers as any option we’ve used for our clients over the years: Pocket Card Networks (PCN).
“We’ve been with Pocket Cards for 8 years, and they have consistently out-performed magazines by a margin of 3 to 1,” says Quality Distribution’s Manager of Driver Services Pat French. CalArk’s Director of Recruiting Mary Cundiff concurs. “We’ve been a partner with them since 2008, and consider them one of our better outlets for hires.”
It’s no secret that 2013 was a tough year for traditional print publications—in part because the market simply couldn’t sustain the sheer number of books in print. And yet, notes Ken Schaffer, who co-founded PCN 12 years ago, “2013 was on of our best years to date.”
One big reason for PCN’s effectiveness is its simplicity. “Like the name says, our cards—which are distributed in over 708 locations and 46 states—literally fit in a driver’s pocket. Or in their wallet. Because of that, drivers tend to keep our cards longer than they would a digest-size publication—much less the link to an online job posting.
“In fact,” Schaffer continues, “we routinely hear from clients who’ve made hires from cards we’d placed for them three to six months earlier.”
Next to Staying Power, PCN’s biggest advantage over, say, Job Boards is Brand Messaging. Chris Eisenhauer of Triple Crown Services—who’s been with PCN since 2005—agrees: “We use Pocket Cared Networks because they provide us great branding.” At the same time, he also likes PCN’s convenience factor. “It’s a unique avenue to reach drivers who may not pick up other recruiting material.”
All that said, even Schaffer will tell you that PCN’s results aren’t what they used to be. “Six years ago we were generating up to 1,200 driver calls a month for carriers. Those days are gone. But with fewer drivers in the market and more carriers fighting for drivers, those days are gone for everybody.”
THE BOTTOM LINE
The best media mix is still a media mix. And as any veteran recruiter can tell you, sometimes it’s the little things that mean most to drivers.