Why positive storytelling matters to transportation

Why positive storytelling matters to transportation

GreaterGreaterWashington.org (Washington, DC), June 23, 2015


Better streets, transit lines, and bike lanes are wonderful things. But for communities hoping to kick the car habit, good marketing and public relations matter just as much as the infrastructure itself.

At StreetsCamp, Mobility Lab’s Paul Mackie taught us why marketing is crucial, and how to do it right.

Find positive, personal stories to tell when pitching transportation.

What kind of “positive, personal stories?” How about Arlington’s Car-Free Diet campaign:

  • Do you live a car-free or car-lite lifestyle?
  • We want to hear from you.
  • Tell us your story!

Once you’ve got a story to tell, how do you get it out there? Mackie has a guide for that too:

  • Build compelling websites
  • Find free contributers to help
  • Hold events or hackathons
  • Pick your social networks wisely
  • Engage thought leaders
  • Tell stories from research and data
  • Create locally and nationally relevant messages and talking points
  • Use great photos always
  • Make calls to action
  • Hire a journalist

Arlington’s Car-Free Diet campaign followed Mackie’s advise and took 40,900 cars off Arlington’s roads every day.

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