The Good, The Bad, The Remarkable.

The Good, The Bad, The Remarkable.
Julia Knuckman
March 24, 2017
Kids Playing with Toy Cars

How one industry shares its greatest hits and biggest misses to move public transportation forward.

Earlier this month, a few hundred of the nation’s public transportation marketers came together at the American Public Transportation Association’s 2017 Marketing & Communications Workshop in Tampa, Florida. I was thrilled to attend this conference with our partners from The Rapid.

As a first-year attendee, it was clear to see that a close-knit community exists between transportation systems far and wide. From the initial welcome event on, people greeted each other with warmth and enthusiasm, like long-lost friends.

This four-day-long event focused on all aspects of public transportation marketing and communications, including advertising, social media, media relations, planning, research and customer service. Presentations on a wide variety of topics allowed systems to share their successes and, in some cases, their failures.

The drive to succeed.

You would think at an event with your industry peers, you would want to highlight your hits and downplay any misses. But, the most remarkable impression I took away from the entire event is that the public transportation industry is a truly collaborative community, freely sharing their struggles in the hopes of learning how others have navigated similar challenges within their own systems. An entire session was dedicated to inviting representatives from each system to stand up and ask for advice. The topics ranged from hiring qualified drivers to handling strong community disapproval due to serious political scandals within agency leadership. No question went unanswered, giving attendees valuable insight from those who had been there and encouraging each other to push forward.

A model worth emulating

This kind of sharing rings true for marketers as well. In our 35-plus years of being in business, we’ve learned as much from our failures as we have from our successes. We believe in using all our knowledge to shape impactful marketing campaigns for each of our clients. Remember when your parents told you it was important to share? Turns out they were right.