CommC Meeting 130814

National Automotive Service Task Force

Communications Committee Conference Call

August 14, 2013


John Cabaniss, Global Automakers – Co-chair

Margaret Beck, AASA – Co-chair

Jason Bartenan, ICAR

Scott Brown, iATN

John Lypen, Motor Information Services

Bill Long, AASA

Jennifer Ortiz, AAIA

Leona Scott, Auto Inc, ASA

Jim Von Ehr, Nissan

Jessie Korosec, ETI

Skip Potter, NASTF

John Cabaniss chaired the conference call which convened at 11am Eastern time.  After introductions, Mr. Cabaniss reviewed briefly the charter of the committee, i.e. to communicate and promote NASTF activities and to solicit feedback from all parties on further needs on which NASTF could focus.

The first order of business was to review the progress made to date with respect to the 2012 NASTF Communications Plan.  Mr. Cabaniss noted that much progress had been made, but he encouraged everyone to continue to consider and pass along other ways we could continue to improve.  The plan identified three key areas of focus:

  1. Website Improvements – work group chaired by Steve Douglas
  2. NASTF Newsletter – work group chaired by John Lypen
  3. Use of Social Media – work group chaired by Scott Brown

Website – Skip Potter (on behalf of Steve Douglas) reported that the member data had been consolidated into the NASTF website database from the site previously used for the NASTF Newsletter.  The database allows anyone to sign up on their own.  The roster is currently about 2300 which is increased from the 1200 names on the Constant Contact list used for newsletter distribution prior to December 2012. Much of the increase was attained with consolidation of multiple databases. The single NASTF member database has been growing this year at a rate of about 20/month.

The website has been refreshed and updated based on work group discussions using a low cost approach.  Scott Brown reported that he had reviewed recently some Google Analytics reports on the website.  The reports indicated that in the period January through July 2013, the NASTF website had about 105,500 visits.  Some of the most frequent “page views” included the Home page, the OE websites page, the reprogramming page, and the OE service access charges page.  Most of the web traffic originated through direct links, but significant traffic came through Google and iATN.  Potter was instructed to ensure all webpages have titles.

Cabaniss charged Committee members with a responsibility to use their own websites and media to drive traffic to the website.

Potter reported that the Service Information Committee recently decided that all “content” files should be updated at least twice per year.  He noted that he will provide each OE contact with URLs for specific data which may need updating to ease the job for the OEMs.  Cabaniss noted that in some cases a particular file (for example, the OE service website access charges chart) may need updating during off-cycle and we should keep that possibility open. Potter was instructed to copy Cabanisss and Douglas on all OEM notices.

Newsletter – John Lypen reported that the NASTF Newsletter has been changed to a monthly format focusing exclusively on NASTF activities, committees, etc., i.e., news about NASTF.  He noted that Potter had done a good job in having a consistent format.  He suggested that the newsletter page(s) be better identified so we can identify usage statistics via Google reports.  Distribution is via the NASTF website database which is currently over 2300.  In some cases, the newsletter is forwarded to a broader audience of stakeholders via NASTF members, such as ETI and ASA, among others. Potter was instructed to examine open-rate measures available on newsletter broadcasts from our membership database.

Social Media – Brown reported that the focus has been on Facebook.  NASTF now has about 300 “followers” on Facebook.  He suggested making a calendar to include a few posts each month to keep the account up-to-date and active.  Potter noted that he also uses the Linked In and iATN accounts, noting a special benefit of the latter, since it is focused specifically on the service industry and issues related to NASTF activities.

Press Releases – Potter noted that he continues to issue NASTF press releases for general meeting announcements and other key activities.

General Meetings – Cabaniss reminded the committee that NASTF holds two general meetings each year in Spring and Fall.  This year the fall meeting is in conjunction with AAPEX in Las Vegas on November 6, 2013.  The Board of Directors decided to continue to partner with AAPEX (if they agree) for future fall meetings to take advantage of the leveraging of the AAPEX and SEMA shows’ attendance.   The Board decided to have the Spring meeting in a different section of the U.S. each year.  In 2013 the Spring meeting was in the Midwest (Kansas City).  The 2014 Spring meeting will be in Seattle.  Cabaniss asked everyone to consider and recommend to the Board possible venues for the 2015 Spring meeting in the eastern part of the U.S.

For the upcoming Fall meeting in November, Margaret Beck reported that she would coordinate with the AAPEX team to include information about NASTF in the weekly/biweekly news items and updates that are distributed to vendors, exhibitors, and attendees.

Other Business – Potter asked committee members to review the current NASTF brochure (on the website) and provide any suggestions for updates.  He also asked for feedback on whether NASTF should assemble a “media kit” and, if so, what should be included. 

The next quarterly meeting will be scheduled soon after the Fall general meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:03 pm ET.