Sunday, April 19, 2009

Metro Discovers It Has A PR Problem (DUH)

I've got to hand it to the fine people at Metro, the public transit agency in St. Louis.

I won't go into all the farces and fiascoes they've been responsible for lately, you can read them on earlier blog posts. But I've got to give them the award for UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE DECADE in Friday's article from The St. Louis Beacon. You can click on the headline to read the whole story about their budget problems and how the State of Missouri is going to ride in (presumably NOT on a bus) with twenty million bucks to bail them out. But if you go down to the bottom of the story, you see Metro's solution to one of the worst Public Relations practices in the Universe:
Making the case to the Public

Although 486 positions --- mostly bus drivers --- have been cut, Metro is trying to do some "resource shifting" to add a person to help bring the agency into the new technological age.

"Metro is behind the curve on new media," Metro spokeswoman Dianne Williams said. It’s not a question of preserving a bus driver instead of adding a public relations person. That person could assist "in bringing back enough money to put a whole lot more than one bus driver back on the street," she said.

"Everyone tells us we've got to get out in the community and tell the people our story," Baer said. Instead of using volunteers, "I don't think it's unreasonable to add one new media person," he added.

"We're looking at improving our public relations with the community," Klevorn said.


If Metro had the slightest clue how to communicate with the public, both its customers and (more importantly) the people who can help fund their operation, they might not be in the horrific mess they've put themselves in.

But the Big Guy at Metro, Robert Baer remains clueless. Must be busy working on May's half hour update to the world.

Oh and Bob, thanks for not responding to my e mail of my last post. THAT'S the kind of "Public Relations" that keeps Metro so in touch with the community.
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