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Use Positive Storytelling to Change the Message for Alternative Transportation

Until advocates and agencies find positive stories to tell about multi-modal decision-making the car will continue to dominate the messaging and branding of contemporary culture.
June 25, 2015, 9am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"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," writes Dan Malouff.

Malouff is inspired by the StreetsCamp event held last weekend. One of the event's panels focused on how marketing influences perceptions of transportation. According to Malouff, "about 100 years ago one of the most effective public-relations campaigns in the history of mankind convinced everyone that streets belong to cars, and walking is dangerous."

A century later, writes Malouff, "we're still dealing with the consequences." The article follows with several examples of advertising and messaging campaigns that make cars seem like the only viable option for mobility.

The key to changing the pitch for alternative transportation: positive, personal stories. Examples cited by Malouff include the car-free diet and Be a PAL campaigns in Arlington, Virginia. 

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Published on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 in Greater Greater Washington
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