Could a more complex PR message help the high speed rail link?

High speed rail - Victorian style
This week's media has been full of discussion about the high speed rail link, set to run between Birmingham and London in the UK. The plans were approved by Government on Monday and this has caused something of a commotion, if not a kerfuffle or indeed brouhaha.

The pro-lobby has argued that the existing railway network will be overburdened and beyond capacity by the time this one is established. It has also vaguely mentioned that it will be good for jobs and business.

The anti-party has said that the rail link will be too expensive, will require the destruction of homes and farm land en route and will offer little benefit to the communities actually being disrupted.

However, the PR message hasn’t included much about the huge benefit the UK’s engineering economy will derive from the project. This is still true even if a non UK company such as SIEMENS, and not the British Bombardier, get the carriage contract for instance, as with the Thameslink order. The impact on second and third tier suppliers, and technical PR companies (Hoorah!- Ed), could be huge.

Equally, there hasn’t been much mention of the UK economy needing to become leaner to compensate for our size in relation to the other economic powers in Europe.

Us PR folk communicate similar messages constantly in industry and yet they are seen as too complex to communicate to the public. I wonder why and I wonder whether the project would have received more positive publicity had Government put more trust in the intelligence of the public.

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Richard Stone

Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.

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