More than 50,000 Tweeters are now following @aaroadwatch. The account which was set up to provide motorists with up to date traffic and travel information, now tops the accounts of Irish leaders; President Michael D Higgins, Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore combined.
Despite the celebrations at AA Roadwatch, the staff aren’t getting ahead of themselves. “We’re not quite as popular as Justin Bieber, I believe he has about 623 times more followers than we do. I’m no belieber but the guy must be doing something right” laughs Conor Faughnan policy director at AA Ireland.
Since AA Roadwatch was established almost 24 years ago, on September 4th 1989, the department has advanced hugely. “A lot has changed since I started on AA Roadwatch” says Faughnan. “We used to write our scripts by hand, now Roadwatch is all over the airwaves, on TV, online, on Smartphone Apps, Facebook, Soundcloud, Youtube as well as Twitter.” The Roadwatch team report live on 4 national radio stations and provide information to 14 other stations. AA Roadwatch information is broadcast live on TV3 and the Roadwatch page is one of the most visited on the AA Ireland website.
“Media consumption has become insatiable with information expected instantaneously and AA Roadwatch continues to evolve to satisfy this growing demand” reports Conor. @aaroadwatch is controlled by the Roadwatch team who are on duty 365 days a year, from 6am to 11pm every weekday and from 7:30am-11pm on Saturdays and Sundays. The account began as a means by which messages could be communicated but it has evolved to become a process of interaction and a vital source of traffic information.
AA Roadwatch has branched out into other areas of social interaction. You can now follow them on Facebook (Facebook.com/aaroadwatch), keep up to date with the latest videos by subscribing to the AA Ireland Youtube Channel and for reports on the go, log onto Soundcloud (soundcloud.com/aa-roadwatch) . Traffic information is also available on the recently launched Smartphone App. The app allows you to call AA Rescue at the touch of a button and they will instantly know your location, your membership details and your contact details. You can also set reminders for your motor needs – NCT date, insurance renewals, next service, tax renewal etc. Accessing help from the AA is easier now more than ever, whether your car has broken down or you’re stuck in a jam.