Toyota Driving Expectations – Leveraging the Media for Education & Awareness

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.