Author Archive

Deborah Gibbs

Posts by Deborah Gibbs:

So I’ve Got a Social Media Policy. How Can It Help Me Sell Cars?

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012
Businesswoman with tablet

Your employees can use their personal social media efforts to help your dealership. Just make sure you’ve implemented an effective social media policy.

There’s been a lot of discussion lately about what employers can legally require of their employees in the social media space. Out of necessity, the conversations often focus on how to create effective employee guidelines, and what happens when you don’t.

Important stuff, but if all your dealership has is a well-written social media policy, and no business benefit coming from your employees’ personal activities on networks like Facebook, you’re missing out.

Your staff can use social media to:

  • Place your brand in front of local customers
  • Create goodwill for your store
  • Retain customers
  • Improve lead conversion
  • Increase service business

“Really?” you might say. “Then show me how.”

Glad you asked! In a recent blog post on Dealer Bar, JD Rucker (KPA’s Director of New Media) gave practical tips on how your employees can use their personal Facebook accounts to appropriately – and legally – boost your dealership’s visibility.

  1. Ask customers if they’d like be Facebook friends. Some folks will decline, and that’s OK. But others will agree, especially if your employee is the kind of likable rock star you should be hiring to represent your brand.
  2. Use humor and personal anecdotes to build a network. There’s no need to oversell here. Note the natural progression: “I like Service Mgr. Joe. He’s funny.” “Hey Joe, loved your joke. I hate beef jerky too.” “Joe, I need an oil change. I’ll be by tomorrow.”
  3. Occasionally put the word out on behalf of Sales. “It’s packed here! Our Sales people have a Thanksgiving special on used cars. We’ve got a few left though. Know anyone who needs a …”

Like these ideas? Take a deeper dive by reviewing “Should Dealership Employees Connect With Customers Through Social Media?” and let us know what you think.

How Old Are Your Labor Law Posters?

Monday, September 10th, 2012
KPA OSHA Store CO Labor Law Posters

Keep your labor law postings current with KPA’s new Employment and Labor Poster Store.

Have you ever paused in your break room and tried to read the labor law posters hanging on the wall? Perhaps you chuckled when you noticed the ancient soup stains, the faded letters … and the copyright date of 2002.

Maybe labor laws have changed since then?

HR professionals are pretty busy. Updating the state and federal labor law posters is one of the many compliance tasks they need to get done as quickly as possible.

This is why KPA has launched an easy-to-use online store with state and federal posters for the entire U.S. You can:

  • Buy posters in English, Spanish or bilingual (English and Spanish) formats.
  • Subscribe to annual updates (optional). When revisions happen, updated poster information will be sent to you via email, or replacement posters will be automatically shipped to your site.
  • Receive a separate NLRA poster with the standard state and federal poster combination.
  • Sign up for store coupons and promotions.

While a 10-year-old poster covered with Joey’s goulash accident may seem a tad funny when you’re sipping your morning coffee, it can trigger a hefty fine from the Department of Labor. Businesses are required to feature federal and state labor law postings in common areas frequented by employees and applicants.

We hope you’ll enjoy our new Employment and Labor Poster Store. If you have any questions, call one of our labor law poster experts at 1 (888) 369-9013.

KPA Wins AWA Peak Performance Award & JD Rucker Wins Lighthouse Award

Thursday, September 6th, 2012
AWA Automotive Website Awards

On Sept. 5, 2012, KPA won the Peak Performance AWA award and JD Rucker won a Lighthouse award.

We are delighted to announce that two new AWA awards have been added to our Internet Marketing team’s list of achievements this year:

  1. Peak Performance Website - Acknowledges effective search marketing architecture and a strong feature set. According to PCG, Peak Performance winners are members of an elite group of platforms that will enable auto dealers to create a competitive advantage in their local markets.
  2. Lighthouse – Given to JD Rucker, TK Carsites’ Director of New Media. This award acknowledges an individual who excels in his service to the automotive community through thought leadership, encouragement and engagement.

The Automotive Website Awards (AWA) are given after rigorous testing and review by PCG, a consulting firm that recommends products and services to help dealers increase their profits.

This year, 41 awards were presented to companies and individuals that represent innovative solutions for car dealers in the areas of website design, mobile technology, social media, proactive chat, merchandising tools, CRM, reputation management, advertising, customer service and industry thought leadership.

For more information, please see our press release.

How SEO and Social Will Be One in 2013 – JD Rucker’s Interesting Topic for AutoCon 2012

Thursday, August 30th, 2012
JD Rucker

JD Rucker will present at AutoCon 2012. His topic – consolidating SEO and social strategies.

Every day, search engine optimization (SEO) and social grow closer to each other. Savvy dealers will be able to save time and improve their digital marketing results by consolidating their search engine marketing and social strategies into one cohesive, lead-generating presence on the Web.

JD Rucker, TK Carsites’ Director of New Media, will show dealers an effective approach that pulls search and social together, including how to build a “daily roadmap” and evolve toward an annual strategy. He’ll make his presentation on September 7, at AutoCon 2012.

If you’d like to learn more from JD, he blogs on automotive communities such as, and others. You can also follow him on Twitter (@0boy) and LinkedIn.

Confront the Killer – Could Distracted Driving Unintentionally Hurt Your Dealership?

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Car with front end damage due to accident, air bag deployedIf you ask your employees whether they’re safe drivers, they’ll generally answer, “Yes.” Truth is, most of us really try to be safe drivers.

Your dealership has many employees who drive as a part of their jobs and may be unaware of how distracted they are. According to OSHA, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of worker fatalities.

There are steps you can take as an employer to reduce risks related to distracted driving. For example:

  1. Training. Driving’s gotten a lot more complicated since most of us climbed behind the wheel for the first time. KPA’s Safe Driver training includes information on preventing distractions, defensive driving and evasive maneuvers.
  2. Awareness campaigns. You can hold a “Drive Safely” campaign at your dealership. offers videos, fliers and other items you can use at your work sites to make employees more aware of the risks.

Awareness and training are important because we get so used to distractions when we drive, we don’t realize we’re at risk. (You can test your own risk for distracted driving on KPA’s site.)

To find out more about your responsibilities as an employer, visit the Department of Transportation website Pages with good information for employers include Regulations and State Laws. KPA clients can also contact their safety engineer or HR consultant for help with training programs.

Get a Practical Perspective on Social Media for Car Dealers – Jeff Cryder to Speak at DSES

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012
Jeff Cryder Lebanon Ford

KPA client Jeff Cryder from Lebanon Ford will present on social media at DSES 2012.

We’re excited to announce that KPA client Jeff Cryder, the Marketing and Communications Director at Lebanon Ford, will discuss social media at the Driving Sales Executive Summit (DSES) in October.

Jeff is an automotive social media expert who developed his experience in the real world, building the digital marketing program for Lebanon Ford. He’s calling his presentation “Confessions of a Young Social Media Manager.” Jeff will cover practical topics such as:

  • Social media workflows
  • Typical challenges
  • Success stories
  • Professional development for digital marketers

Jeff has a vision to increase the mentoring and education available to Internet marketers in the auto industry. To learn more about Jeff and his presentation, read his recent interview with Also, you can follow Jeff (@cryderja) and Lebanon Ford (@lebanonford) on Twitter.

Are These 4 Dangerous Chemicals Lurking in Your Dealership?

Monday, August 20th, 2012

chemicals of concern for auto dealer safetyEfficiency is critical in a service bay. Mechanics and body shop specialists have to clean breaks, paint fenders and complete many other similar tasks as quickly and thoroughly as possible. This makes it tempting for them to resort to chemicals that product results – but post an unacceptable health risk.

Eric Schmitz, our VP of Environment and Safety Products, has been researching the proposed new legislation on “chemicals of concern,” studying what it will mean for auto dealers. He put together a list of four dangerous chemicals often used in vehicles, or products related to auto repairs.

These chemicals seriously increase your liability as an employer. Here’s Eric’s list, with examples of where they may show up:

  1. Isocyanates – undercoating products
  2. Hydrofluoric Acid – detailing products
  3. Methylene Chloride – stripping products
  4. N-Hexane – solvents

You can’t get rid of Isocyanates completely, but KPA recommends protective gear. The other three should be removed from your dealership. To learn more, read Eric’s instructions on “Chemicals of Concern.” Or call Eric at (303) 228-8766.

Patric Timmermans’ AutoCon 2012 Presentation Will Help Dealers Identify Marketing Metrics That Matter

Monday, August 13th, 2012
Patric Timmermans, VP of Marketing at KPA

Patric Timmermans, KPA’s VP of Marketing.

Most dealers are familiar with the saying, “In order to manage something, you must measure it.” That’s certainly true for digital marketing activities, where monitoring ROI is critical. But what numbers should you focus on?

Based on years of personal experience, Patric will show you how to track metrics without “getting lost in the weeds.” One of the biggest challenges in automotive Internet marketing is the overload of reports, signals and analytics, which often obscure the success or failure of your dealership’s marketing initiatives.

Patric will be presenting at AutoCon 2012 on September 8. His topic will be, “Focus on What Matters – How to Simplify Analytics to See the Numbers that Make a Difference.” In the meantime, you can learn more about Patric on LinkedIn.

How can you effectively use social media to hire and retain employees? Look for Kathryn Carlson’s presentation – AutoCon 2012

Monday, August 6th, 2012
Kathryn Carlson, Product Director for KPA's HR Management System

Kathryn Carlson, Product Director for KPA’s HR Management System will discuss social hiring at AutoCon 2012.

While auto dealerships know that social media is a powerful marketing tool, many don’t realize that it is equally powerful for hiring and retaining quality employees. To use social media effectively, however, employers must avoid many legal pitfalls.

Kathryn Carlson, Product Director for KPA’s HR Management System, will discuss this at AutoCon 2012. Kathryn will cover how you can remain legally compliant while leveraging social media for a better workplace. For example, she’ll discuss how to develop policies that align with National Labor Relations Board regulations.

Kathryn’s AutoCon presentation is on the 7th of September. The title of her presentation is “How to Use Social Media Compliantly and Effectively to Hire and Retain Employees.”

Kathryn’s a featured blogger on Dealer Communications. You can also learn more about her on LinkedIn.

August Tip of the Month: When It’s Really Hot, How Much Should You Drink?

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

 Compliance Tip of the MonthWe all know that drinking enough fluids is an essential part of staying safe during the summer. But exactly how much water is enough, especially when it’s really hot? And does it really matter what you drink, or when?

For employees who are physically active in extreme heat, KPA’s safety team recommends the following:

  • Drink about 4 oz. of water every 15 minutes.
  • Make it a priority to take quick breaks to drink – consuming small, frequent amounts of water is particularly important in extreme heat.
  • Drink even when you don’t feel thirsty.
  • Avoid drinks with sugar, caffeine and alcohol, because they can dehydrate your body. (Sorry, folks, but iced coffee lovers are out of luck.)

Basically, keeping yourself and your staff hydrated in the heat takes effort and planning. If you’d like to learn more, read these blog posts: How to Keep Cool, Heat Illness Prevention Programs and How to Manage Heat Exhaustion at Work.