The Benefits of Being an Award Winning Company
Premier Transportation Services follows guidance from a well-connected PR consultant to highlight its achievements
Limousine, Charter & Tour Magazine, April 2009
By Jon LeSage
Earning a marketing degree at Baylor University in Texas was just right for Eric Devlin, president of Dallas-based Premier Transportation Services. "I try to instill this with all my employees -- everything you do offers a chance to sell or market -- on the phone or on the street," he says. "We have to creatively distinguish ourselves from our competitors."
Placing marketing top of mind helped Premier Transportation Services win the LCT Operator of the Year Award in the 31-50 vehicles category on Jan. 27 along with a Marketing Award for the brochures and information packets category. The awards present Premier with a great opportunity to expand media coverage and heighten its sales and marketing efforts.
Premier has worked closely with Dedie Leahy, a public relations and marketing consultant who "knows everyone in Dallas," Develin says. Leahy's guidance and relationships have helped focus Permier's marketing strategy and gain more coverage in local media.
Premier Transportation Services won its marketing award by showing off its company catalogue; a condensed version of a welcome package is the way it's described by Kelli Ansley, manager of marketing/business development. It's been structured to provide memorable images and information that customers usually ask about, starting with available fleet vehicles with interior and exterior photos. Rates come next in the catalogue, primarily for airport runs to DFW and Dallas Love Field, which are commonly booked. These catalogues are give out to key decision makers, such as administrative assistants who book rides for executives.
"It's convenient and easy for administrative assistants to use," Ansley says. "It's everything they need."
The information packets aren't cheap -- about $10 to $15 per packet, but they serve as "door openers," Devlin says. "They can have ready access to Dallas Maverick games, or nights on the town. All of these ancillary activities make limousine companies profitable."
Another decision-making group that gets the most out of the company catalaogues is wedding consultants. "We work with 12 of the best wedding consultants in Dallas, and they appreciate receiving the packets," Devlin says.
PR Consultant Builds Media Coverage
Since last year, Premier Transportation Services has been working closely with Leahy, who is well connected with the media in Dallas. The city has several local newspapers that are widely read, including the Dallas Morning News and the Dallas Business Journal, Devlin says.
Leahy has been building effective relationships between the local media and Premier, which has resulted in two lengthy company profiles being published in newspapers on the award winning chauffeured transportation company. Getting out press releases has helped the company gain newspaper coverage, and is being applied to TV and radio media opportunities. "We're creating a buzz for local TV coverage," Devlin says. "It needed a certain angle, such as local limo company wins an award in a down market."
Premier benefits from Leahy having "courteous, nice, and professional" relationships with the local media, Devlin says. "Dedie has relationships. Once the door is open, we can put information together along with testimonials, and show the local press what we're all about. We're telling the truth about our company."
Leahy has also helped Premier examine and present and all the materials and messages it puts out to the public. This has meant investing in a website upgrade, and making sure that winning the LCT award is clearly shown in all emails, on the website, letterhead, and business cards.