The week of… Rijschoolregister (“Driving School Register”)
What happened this week?
We got a lot of national media attention after we announced a law suit being filed against the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment in response to the launch of their website rijscholenkiezer.nl (“Driving school Chooser”). We believe that this initiative of the Dutch government distorts competition and pushes market driven companies out of the market.
We did not set things in motion ourselves. A couple of days before the launch of this new website, a reporter of the NOS (public broadcasting news agency) found us on google and contacted us, which led to a mention in an online article. This opened the floodgates for other media. Managing different media we were able to make 20 appearances in national and regional media, including an article on nu.nl and an interview on live radio. (http://www.rijschoolregister.nl/pers-informatie)
Are you happy with the results?
We think we did allright. We were able to mobilize the right expertise such as a public relation expert, law experts and fellow entrepreneurs. The goal was to create impact with our message that this initiative funded with tax payers money is not ok. I believe we got that message across. The traffic to our site www.rijschoolregister.nl went up by 600% during this week, and we were approached by other impaired parties and for example lawyers who wanted to help out with our case.
One of the biggest results are the lessons learned. The whole process is extremely intensive and we experienced a lot in fields we’ve never really dug into. Not only competition law and the relation between government and the market, but also about lobbying in politics and dealing with media.
What is your advice to fellow student entrepreneurs?
If you are confronted with this amount of media attention, in relation to processes you’re not familiar with, make sure you are surrounded by the right people. Always bear in mind what the end goal is, in our case to question the legitimacy of this online initiative. It is tempting to get distracted and steer your efforts towards “I have to get on nu.nl”. Last but not least; think about the options your opponent has. What options does Rijschoolkiezer have in changing their course? Just bashing your opponent in the end does help you in moving forward.