Kal Tire

– Photo by Artur Pokusin, Unsplash.com

Read Head has been writing Kal Tire’s blog posts, press releases, scripts and handling their media campaigns since 2013. When I was approached two years ago with the idea of handling some of their copywriting, particularly blogging, I wasn’t sure I would be a good fit: I love driving, and I knew how to get my vehicle from Point A to Point B, but that’s where my vehicle knowledge ended. That turned out to be a good thing, as is often the case with blogging, because I had the same questions, concerns and basic knowledge as one of their target audiences–women.

It turns out that driving and the tire industry are a fascinating world, and Kal Tire is one of those rare companies that truly lives its aims. I’ve been writing their bi-weekly blog posts and a handful of other materials ever since. Here’s a breakdown of some of the ongoing work and special projects I’ve been a part of:

Blog posts 

I write bi-weekly blog posts that target the interests and questions of three audiences: road-lovers, soccer moms and gear heads. Topics range from the everyday–10 Winter Driving Tips–to the complex–How Do Anti-lock Brakes Work?

The primary goal of blogging, for them, is to offer site visitors a wealth of reliable knowledge they can use to stay safe on the road and make smart tire-buying choices. Boosting search rankings and building Kal’s brand are wonderful by-products.

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Press releases

Press releases feature everything from fundraising initiatives to consumer awareness topics that are part of Canada-wide media campaigns (see below). Always, the goal is to communicate sometimes complex information in a clear and compelling way so editors will want to pick up the story and see Kal Tire as a leader in providing valuable tire safety information. Because of my background as a journalist, I’m able to write press releases that read more like stories about people, which translates to better coverage for the company.

A few examples:

Kal Tire Offers Sockeye with Tires” translated into this story in the Huffington Post

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 “Kal Tire Hosts Poker Run to Raise Money for Ronald McDonald House” translated into this story in the Calgary Sun.

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Campaigns

2014 All-weather Campaign

Also known as the ‘No Excuses Campaign,’ Kal Tire set out to convince Canadian drivers once and for all that all-weather tires are different and much safer than all-season tires for winter us as well as introduce a full line-up of all-weather tires for every type of vehicle and driving need. I was brought in to write all of the media material (see below) and handle the media bookings for a 10-city demonstration tour.

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The challenges:

  • Most Canadians didn’t know there was a difference between all-weather and all-season tires.
  • The campaign, which included a cross-Canada media tour, had to be held in October before stores got too busy with the winter tires rush, but the weather was mild, even in Manitoba. Drivers (and, more importantly, the media) just weren’t thinking about safe tires in winter yet.
  • Kal Tire had done an all-weather tires media campaign in 2013, albeit without a media demonstration, and had already convinced most major publications to cover the story last year
  • Oh, and the Ontario leg was held during one of the busiest news weeks of the year for Canada

The solutions: 

In addition to hundreds of calls to editors across Canada convincing them that we could make roads safer with these tires, I wrote and passed on this suite of media materials:

The results:

  • More than 60 television, radio and newspaper stories that have, so far, translated into nearly 1 million impressions.
  • Major outlets, such as the Toronto Star, CTV Toronto, and The Globe and Mail did ANOTHER feature story on all-weather tires
  • In Ontario, stores completely ran out of Nokian all-weather tires.

The blog post No Excuses: The Kal Tire All-weather Tires Campaign is a wrap-up of some of the highlights of the media coverage.

Scripts 

I research and write scripts for Kal Tire’s training videos. Their team members need an intricate understanding of how every tire features work and what separates each tire from the competition. I research given marketing material as well as user reviews online to help team members give honest advice to customers.

Praise from Kal Tire

Natalie really understands how to write engaging content, whether it’s a blog, a news release or website copy. Both her creative and technical writing skills are superb and she’s always thinking of the reader and how best to write for them. Natalie has certainly upped our game with her abilities!
– Tracy Cobb-Reeves, Kal Tire