Last week we launched our new lobbying and advocacy campaign, #responsible4WDer.
The notion of encouraging and promoting responsible four wheel driving has been one that I’ve been passionate about over the years. This passion is driven off the back of a need to support our hobby and passion with the reach Club 4X4 now enjoys, but also utilising the credibility that seems to be automatically bestowed on a business in the financial service sector, whether that be right or wrong. Our business is to make a promise, then actually dive in to support people at their time of need. We do that every single day at a singular customer level; repairing windscreens, replacing cars, repairing damaged bars and paying recovery bills. I am proud of what we do, and we do it well, every single day.
But I am also a realist to the core; and as I watched another video of a Triton tearing up a farmers paddock earlier this week, it cemented my desire to have our team and brand work with the rest of the industry and community to find a way to combat the profile that this activity and exposure tars us with. I’m not saying I’m one who doesn’t like circle-work – but not on someone else’s and certainly not on public property; there is a time and a place for everything.
I’m confident that the intent with that video I mentioned earlier, was to “name and shame”. I think as a community we do a great job of this – and I did note that it was also sent to the local police who hopefully acted on it whole-heartedly. But I wonder if it really helped? I think anyone who took the time to read the comments will see that everyone who took the time out was there to note their displeasure, not support of the activity. But is that what the people who are opposed to giving us access to land do? Or do they just share the video?
Someone much wiser than me once said that “the best defence is a good offence”. I think that the various bodies involved in our industry currently do a fantastic job of lobbying and working with governments to bring to the fore the size and importance of the 4WD industry. The people who form part of such organisations usually do it as volunteers with day jobs, but they do it for the love of the community and passion.
What if we could arm these volunteers for their interactions with those who make decisions on track closures, erection of gates and imposition of laws that restrict our way of life? How can we help them to demonstrate the size and nature of four wheel drivers and what we actually do? I know how much time I spend each day flicking through social media in my downtime – I’m sure most people reading this are the same. How about if we started to post, or share recognition of people doing the right thing in the 4WD world? In a world where a viral post can make or break someone, why don’t we focus on ways to create a groundswell for the positive?
Imagine we had 500,000 people watching and contributing to a hashtag. Imagine we had hundreds of posts everyday with the hashtag from enthusiasts who are out doing the right thing. Pictures of rubbish packed in a bag, a pristine campsite before and after, responsible clearing of a tree across a track, a responsible recovery, your local club giving back to the community somehow? The opportunities to create a positive post with the hashtag are endless. If you were to present evidence of responsible four wheel drive activities to a MP who has the power to keep tracks open – what would you show them? You can do so by posting with the hashtag.
What typifies successful communities is a common goal that drives everyone – #responsible4WDer is bigger than all of us, but gives us an opportunity to try to bring together and give more exposure to the positive actions each of us undertake every day.
We will do our bit to find opportunities to share positive activities. If you post one yourself or see one, tag us in it and we will schedule it across our channels too.
Let’s get on a front foot folks. One post a week from everyone reading this can make a massive difference!