As part of its mission to become the ‘partner of choice for local authorities and PTEs, Arriva UK Bus has created a new website for local stakeholders

 

 

In 2010, Arriva announced a new strategy designed to position its UK bus business as the “partner of choice” for local authorities and PTEs. A survey of 21 local authorities had been carried out, and while it showed that Arriva’s operational performance was well regarded, partners wanted a greater level of engagement. As a result, a reorganisation of the bus business took place. New area managing director roles were created with a brief to develop greater understanding of the objectives of local authority and PTE partners, the most crucial part of the stakeholder landscape, and the political context in which they operate. And now, as part of this agenda, Arriva has created a new website devoted entirely to its UK Bus “partners” – local authorities, PTEs, passenger groups and politicians.

Nick Gordon, senior marketing communications manager at Arriva UK Bus, said that communications aimed at these local stakeholders had previously been posted on the Arriva UK Bus website, which is very consumer focussed and is not really relevant to that audience. Statistical analysis showed that the number of visits to the ‘News’ section of the website were quite low.

Arriva’s response has been to create a specific online presence for that audience, so that when they click through from an email it takes them through to a site that is relevant to them.

The new Arriva Partners website contains sections that are of interest to this stakeholder audience, such as environment, corporate social responsibility and  employee travel schemes.

The website also features a blog, which will include contributions from Mark Yexley, Arriva UK Bus operations and commercial director, right down to Arriva bus drivers, picking up on issues that are current and relevant to that audience. There is a link to the company’s Linked-In group. With upwards of 10 million users in the UK, Gordon sees this “business version of Facebook” as an influential channel for communicating Arriva’s message.

Success will be measured not only in terms of the number of visits, Arriva wants stakeholders to engage with the content and share it via social media channels.

Gordon cites smart, integrated ticketing as the kind of issue that Arriva can address on the new website and associated channels. “From a political point of view we want to be at the forefront of any joined-up thinking on that,” he says. “This is an ideal format for us to put forward our views in a very sort of unconfrontational way.”

Gordon believes that Arriva’s strategy will provide it with a better database of stakeholders. “Getting people to sign up to receive newsletters and the blog helps us to build up a picture of who’s actually interested in what we’re talking about,” he says. “And once we’ve got that data we can look at how else can we use it to reach out to them.”

As with m-ticketing and social media for consumers, Gordon believes that the Arriva Partners website is an example of an industry leading innovation by Arriva UK Bus. “It’s helping us to get our message out in channels that our competitors aren’t and that’s a real positive for us.”

Visit the Arriva Partners at www.arrivapartners.co.uk

 

This article appears inside the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

DON’T MISS OUT – GET YOUR COPY! – click here to subscribe!