Scripting riders’ testimonials makes matters worse for BART’s PR team

Bay Area Rapid Transit’s attempt to recruit ‘loyal riders’ for a press conference draws fire from local media. PR professionals say it’s an example of what not to do.

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Bay Citizen reporter Zusha Elinson broke the story about the press conference in an article published on Tuesday.

PR professionals have said the failed attempt serves as case study on what not to do.

Bay Area social media advisor Steve Farnsworth told PR Daily that featuring these so-called loyal riders with a script “is an old-school mentality that ignores how communications works for today’s connected riders and fails to incorporate a transparent and sincere outreach to those riders.”

The press conference was an attempt to head off a planned protest against BART police, who in July shot a knife-wielding homeless man. BART admitted to recruiting riders who had expressed support for the organization and creating a script for them to read at the press conference. It also hired two private cars to drive people to the event, at a cost of $800.

From NBC Bay Area:

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