The Power of One: How One Auto Glass Shop Owner is Making a Difference in Auto Safety
Raymond Clough is trying to make a difference in the auto glass industry
and he's taking a unique approach to spreading the word.
Clough opened his own auto glass shop in Oregon three years ago and almost
immediately opted to go the untraditional route in marketing his business.
Though he bought a few radio spots in the beginning, he started marketing
himself and his business on a personal level, getting out and talking
to people and, most importantly, discussing safety.
To arm himself with the best possible information, he started studying
first windshield safety and then auto safety. Eventually, he got to learning
about the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) Federal
Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 216, which outlines the parameters
of the roof crush test standard that all motor vehicles must pass to be
The standard, as Clough explained, was supposed to be temporary. This
fall FMVSS 216 has come up for review. The notice of proposed rulemaking
was issued in August and was open for public commentary until last Monday,
November 21. Noticing that the public commentary phase was drawing to
a close with little interest from anyone -inside or outside the automotive
industry-Clough teamed up with friends and colleagues to help spread the
First and foremost, he and a friend got together and created a website,
Numberonekiller.com, the mission of which is "to inform, educate
and then motivate to action the consumer to submit a comment to the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for the Notice of Proposed
Rule Making for Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard #216 (Rollover Roof
crush) Docket ID # 22143." The website provides links to the original
document, testimonials by those who have been severely injured in rollover
accidents wherein a crushed roof contributed to their injuries as well
as information and a form to help visitors make a public comment on the
proposed rule making.
Once the website was up and running, Clough wanted to make sure the word
got out. Though his goal of getting the national media involved didn't
work out, he did the next best thing: he harnessed the power of the Internet.
He wrote up his thoughts and concerns and e-mailed everyone in his address
book, from colleagues and associates within the industry to friends and
family, in an effort to get the word out that the proposed changes to
standards could and would greatly affect automotive safety.
"It wasn't as successful as I desired, but I've learned and my business
partner is helping me, so we always move forward," Clough told glassBYTES
in a telephone interview today. "If I had to do it again - which
I will - I'm going to make a newsletter [about] auto safety and motor
vehicle safety standards."
He's nearly done with the newsletter and hopes to have the first issue
out this week.
"People drive around in cars and don't know anything about them.
True, they're safer than they used to be," Clough added, but he wants
people to know just what's going on and how new rules can affect them.
As he explained it, the proposed ruling could limit litigation brought
by victims injured in rollover accidents.
This is the kind of information he wants to make sure the public knows
"I'm just out there to educate my consumer and I've taken it one
step further. A lot of people don't know about auto safety. It's like
teaching kids about sex. You have to do it but no one wants to do it,"
he said. "We're moving forward, developing the newsletter and have
links on other relative sites. That'll get the word out there."
Some of his plans to continue to get the word out there is to implement
key marketing strategies for the website, such as ensuring that he buys
key advertising space, something he'd like to see other consumer safety-advocate
"Safewindshields.com needs to be on the top 50 sites baby boomers
visit," said Clough, referring to the Auto Glass Replacement Safety
Standard (AGRSS) Consumer website.
Now that the public commentary time has closed on FMVSS 216, Clough and
his cronies haven't chosen to dismantle the site. If anything, they plan
to grow it and shape it into a source of all things related to auto safety.
"Numberonekiller.com is going to change in intent to become all
auto safety and how to educate the consumer so that they can make the
decision," Clough said.
To visit Clough's website, CLICK
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