Looking for a PR challenge? Why not call up Amtrak, or whomever you know in travel circles, and sign on to help explain the merits of high-speed rail service. As a reflection of our polarized national dialogue currently, the subject, as introduced by President Obama, isn't doing too well. Virtually all we've heard about expanding the high-speed rail network has been negative, and a couple of governors have refused federal funds for the purpose. Yet, when we traveled to California from the East by Amtrak a couple of years ago, the trip was very pleasant and relaxing, and it wasn't even high-speed.
There are lots of pros and cons about continuing a virtually single-minded transportation focus on automobiles and highways (supplemented for long distances by the airlines). We've been hearing mainly the anti-rail viewpoint from conservative writers and spokespeople, like this piece by Amy Ridenour, of the National Center for Public Policy Research. Good PR techniques can help illuminate policy choices. They seem to be largely lacking in this instance. All aboard!
Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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