THE SOURCE - Fall 2016 - (Page 16)

feature A Successful CNG From Sea to Shi O By Pat Riley ver the past six years, I have been the chairman of the Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV) Committee for the Tennessee Gas association. During that time, I organized four compressed natural gas (CNG) expos- three at the War Memorial auditorium in Nashville and one at the Titan's stadium. However, the legislative session had become too compressed and after four years, the legislators knew our story and didn't have time to attend. So we had to change gears and do something different. I thought we would take our CNG message on the road and try to bring public awareness to a larger audience- the american public-while also getting more national media coverage. a road rally was a great place to start getting the word out, so we called it "CNG across Tennessee." I organized five media stops across the state. Each stop was different but the same message was presented. Each location invited the public, press, and local and regional politicians to their event. Each stop gave out awards to those politicians and fleet operators in their area who were supporting the cause of CNG vehicles. There were approximately 20 vehicles in the rally from long-haul tractor trucks, pickup trucks, and passenger cars. Over that week, I was interviewed by three major television stations and had stories printed in eight newspapers across the state. In looking at the entire demographics, we felt we had the potential of reaching over 2 million people in that week. The rally was a huge success in promoting public awareness and strengthening our relationships with our local politicians and state legislators. Once I became the chairman of the aPGa NGV Committee, I believed it was important to bring this rally concept to a national platform. I presented this idea to the aPGa Board of Directors who encouraged me to work with NGVamerica as a partner. The CNG from Sea to Shining Sea road rally then became a reality and featured three presenting sponsors: aPGa, NGVamerica, and the american Gas association. aNGI and the Southern Gas association were also sponsors. Many facets of the gas industry came together for this common cause of promoting more NGVs and CNG fueling stations. Sherrie Merrow of NGVamerica was an integral part of the rally as she coordinated her membership for media stops along the rally route. Ultimately, we had 13 volunteer media stops across the country. It took eight months to put the stops together and work out the logistics of overnight stays, CNG stations, and volunteer media stops. It turned out that almost half of the stops were NGVamerica members and half were aPGa members. We offered sponsorships for $500, which ensured that a company name and logo would be placed on two pop-up banners that were taken to every media stop and prominently displayed on stage and for media interviews. We also had a line banner with the presenting sponsors. It acted as a backdrop behind all the podiums. Based on calculations from the Tennessee road rally, $1,000 of sponsorship money was needed to 16 THE SOURCE | THE vOICE and CHOICE Of pUblIC gaS be distributed to media stops to help with the cost of each stop. We needed 30 sponsors to offset the cost, but we exceeded expectations and secured 44 sponsors total. Beginning in long Beach, Calif., I took I-40 as it was the most direct line across the country and it took two weeks to complete. I brought a 2010 ford f-150 and a 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe to long Beach and Michael Kearns from the

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of THE SOURCE - Fall 2016

First Person
APGA Events
Q&A: Representative Blackburn
A Successful CNG from Sea to Shining Sea Road Rally
Richmond Breweries Tout Benefits of Natural Gas
Presidential Candidates Outline their Energy Plans
The Rising Cost of Natural Gas Transport
CNG for Public Transportation
APGA Hosts Second Southeast Tour
Legislative Outlook
The Pipeline
Marketing Matters
Advertisers’ Index/
At Last

THE SOURCE - Fall 2016