Springfield MA - A report in The Republican tells of the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority's (PVTA) attempt to rebuild its reputation after a year of scandals and poor decisions.
The first thing I noticed in the report is that the new executive director, Mary MacInnes, is planning to rely on the marketing department to help rebuild the image of the PVTA in the eye of the public.
I sense a fiscal mess on the horizon from this. Instead of creating new, additional marketing department positions, Ms. MacInnes needs to concentrate on just making sure the service to the public is safe, clean and reliable.
Marketing isn't going to change the perception of the operation and it doesn't matter how much you spend on marketing campaigns or marketing positions. What will change the perception in the public eye is safe, clean and reliable service. That and just doing what needs to be done which is to clean house internally.
When you start depending on the marketing department to create an image, your simply finding something to waste money on rather than spending it on service improvements. I have seen too many transit systems fall into the marketing department trap where they end up trying to sell the service like a can of Pepsi and do no real improvements to the operation.
I hope I am wrong but I just sense a massive fiscal black hole developing at the PVTA because they are expanding the marketing department. That black hole will be the marketing department sucking down the money without providing any real results.