Rodney Kumar - Senior communications executive
Last week I had the honour of being invited for the second year running to the Western Group of Motoring Writers Annual Driving Day at Castle Combe circuit.
At this event, many of the UK’s car manufacturers bring a selection of their latest models and allow PR officers from other companies and industry bodies to come along to try them out.
Such cooperation amongst companies generally thought as being rivals is commonplace in the car industry, in a way that you don’t often get in other sectors.
If you are wondering why such events like this take place, the main reason is that we share good ideas and best practice. We also get a chance to see the latest developments in motoring, and also for IAM RoadSmart’s point of view, what safety innovations have made their way to the cars that are being bought by people today.
If one manufacturer comes up with a breakthrough when it comes to safety, it very quickly becomes commonplace across the industry.
This practice is also prevalent amongst road safety bodies around the world. Successes overseas are noticed and evaluated to see if they would work for us here in the UK.
Another important part of attending such events is to meet the journalists that receive our press releases week in week out.
We are already well respected for our work in the media, but there are things you simply cannot achieve on an email, or even a phone call.
At the Western Group of Motoring Writers Driving Day, there is the opportunity to meet a host of top journalists operating in the West Country and discuss future articles. This is an ideal chance to talk about ideas which time doesn't allow over the phone.
So if you see a large feature in a newspaper or magazine, it is more than likely there because it is a contact we have built up and spoken to over a period of several months.
Finally, I guess I should tell you about the cars I drove at the Western Group Driving Day. Having driven the £245,000 Rolls Royce Phantom last year, I added the £145,000 540bhp Aston Martin DB9 GT to my ‘bucket list’ moments.
So a pretty good day on the whole!