Thursday, February 28, 2019
PR and publicity can go only so far. At some point recipients of messages accept or ignore them. One can persuade but not compel. Consider this example. Railroad authorities have repeated ad nauseum a warning to respect gates at crossings and to never, never go around them when they are down. Yet, a driver did. Three people died in the car, a train derailed and passengers suffered minor injuries. We may never know what the driver was thinking but surely there must have been some cognition of the risk that was about to be taken. As a reporter decades ago, I covered a number of vehicle-train accidents. The railroad wasn't at fault in any of them. Some people don't listen. They don't believe warnings apply to them. They will do what they want until tragedy overtakes them. Three people died needlessly and once again a railroad's best efforts in PR and publicity were wasted.