After a truly different year, the Western Group of Motoring Writers broke new ground with its first on-line AGM.
It didn’t go as well as we wanted but certainly most members who wanted to were able to join in and generally it ran as a Real World round-table would have been held.
The members attending held up their hands to re-elect the sitting committee to ensure continuity over the course of the coming 12 months, which might be almost as challenging as the last ten months have been and will continue until the end of 2020.
The group was very disappointed at having to cancel the 2020 PR Driving Day , which has run without interruption since 1985, but the meeting decided it will look at resuming the event in 2021 if a suitable date can be found and our colleagues in the motor industry wish to take part. It could be a different event requiring social distancing and maybe a completely new time of year but that’s to be investigated.
The loss of this year’s DD20 meant we could not donate as much as usual to our chosen charities but we have dug into our reserves and will be sending some donations to WOMAC and Blood Bikes Wales.
Despite the challenges of finding work and keeping an income going we know there are some local writers and photographers who want to join The Western Group and the latest has applied and will go through the application process over the next couple of weeks.
Another new name definitely on The Western Group roll of Friends is Steve Kitson, who started as a journalist and member of the Northern Group, before taking the helm at Kia Motors UK where he has been an advocate and supporter of regional journalism and has for a number of years hosted the maker’s experience day immediately before our own PR Driving Day. His support has been really appreciated by the group and has contributed to the driving days’ successes for the wider industry. The group and the PR community owe him a debt of gratitude.
Looking into 2021, The Western Group hope to attend driving days with two manufacturers which have had to postpone days this year.
In fact, a group driving day is a very effective way for any manufacturer to get local writers into their cars and a third importer is considering just this course of action to promote their next model.
With tightening restrictions on numbers attending and the value of coverage now more important than ever a regional group is a good starting point for any manufacturer considering how to push up their web views, social media mentions and column centremetres, providing the group concerned does verify its membership entitlement.
So, the WGMW might have been down in 2020 but we’re not out and looking forward to a good one, a 2021.
Happy Christmas and hopefully a prosperous New Year from The Western Group of Motoring Writers.
Robin is the longest serving chairman of The Western Group. He’s been vice chairman or chairman for over ten years and oversees the annual Western Group PR Driving Day each summer assisted by the group committee and supported by group members.
He contributes to a number of outlets in Wales and the UK, including the Driving Force editorial syndication agency feeding the biggest regional news and feature publishers in Britain.
Robin specialises in the Welsh automotive sector and motor related businesses with interests in Wales and publishes WheelsWithinWales.uk which covers news, features, trade and motor sport in Wales.