Sunday, March 22, 2009

Weekend update

Funny timing when we get the little blurb that the Port Authority is extending its public comment period by a month for its planned route changes. Could it be because they are not getting an appropriate amount of input for what describe as the "biggest changes Pittsburgh has seen since the Port Authority was founded"? Other issues?

I will give them the benefit of the doubt that they didn't just put that news out there on Friday... and that the paper just got around to doing something on Saturday which is where this appeared. If not? Here is one of those real basic rules of all public relations.... if there is news you want to minimize coverage on, make sure you release it on a Friday in the hope that it just gets buried in Friday evening or weekend news when fewer people are paying attention to print or local tv news. Especially Saturday, not even the Sunday paper.

A small observation I will admit, but certainly fits pattern and practice pretty well at this point. Even if I am being overly cynical in their motivations, the result is the same. Nobody knows this change was made. I went to the Port Authority website several times since seeing this news story and see absolutely nothing about this extension being made. Even when you dig into the sections asking for public comment there is no mention at all of the date changes? I still believe few actual riders of the Port Authority are aware of the changes being planned... certainly not the scale of changes being planned. Some may disagree with that, but ask around and see for yourself. I'd love it if someone actually did a onjective formal survey just on the effectiveness of public outreach to date on this.