diamond geezer

 Tuesday, July 19, 2016

PR Masterclass
TfL teams up with <Drinks company> to hand out free bottles of <brand of bottled water> to Tube passengers
18 July 2016
If this year's heatwave is imminent, then it must be time for TfL's annual bottled water promotion.
Transport for London (TfL) has teamed up with <Drinks company>, for the third year in a row, to hand out free bottles of <brand> natural mineral water to commuters, helping to encourage customers to carry water while travelling on the Underground during the summer.
Remember, if it's hot then you may become ill, and if you fall ill while on a train it'll have to stop, and that could cause significant disruption, and it'll all be your fault. If we all carried a bottle of water with us, then these dehydration-related delays could become a thing of the past.

But conversely, you probably won't fall ill on a train as a result of overheating, only a handful of the millions of passengers on the tube each day ever do. Individually, carrying a bottle of water every time you travel is a complete waste of money. But collectively, from TfL's point of view, if we all wasted our money on bottled water twice daily then Londoners would get around more easily. So you can see why they ask.
<Drinks company> has provided London Underground with 250,000 bottles of <brand> water, which will be given out for free from tomorrow at some of London's Tube stations in support of TfL's ongoing Travel Better London campaign.
Around four million passengers travel by tube each day, so these free bottles will reach barely 7% of the target audience. Also notice that they're not all being given out today, which is a pity, because the more bottles you can give out on the hottest day of the year the better.
The campaign aims to raise awareness of how passengers can help to reduce delays and improve journeys for everyone by making small changes to travel habits such as by carrying water while travelling, which can prevent people being taken ill on trains.
I don't know about you, but carrying water with me every time I travel by tube wouldn't be a small change to my travel habits. I'd have to buy a bottle every time I travel, which would delay my journey by having to visit a shop, or else I'd have to stock up at home and then carry the bottle around with me all day, either weighing me down or getting in the way.
The giveaway supports London Underground's ongoing efforts to cool the network and marks the third summer in a three year partnership between <brand> and TfL in which water is distributed across the Tube network.
Or of course TfL could give away empty refillable bottles which we could all use again and again using tapwater. That'd be a brilliant way to drive the campaign home, and much more eco-friendly. But this'll never happen because it'd cost money, which TfL doesn't have. Or alternatively the bottles could be sponsored, except no bottled water company is ever going to sign up for that, obviously.
To date a number of measures have been introduced through a Cooling the Tube programme including; air conditioned trains on the Metropolitan, Circle, Hammersmith and City and District lines, upgraded station ventilation and portable fans installed in ticket and concourse areas.
There are also air-cooled trains on the Overground, but these must not be mentioned because this is a tube announcement, and organisational divisions must not be breached.
Mark Evers, Director Customer Experience, London Underground, said: 'Through our partnership with <Drinks company> we want to encourage customers to carry water when they travel during the summer, which can help prevent people being taken ill on trains and reduce delays.'
Interestingly <Drinks company> is not the same drinks company which paid for a sponsored makeover of Canada Water station last year. TfL don't genuinely believe that one brand of bottled water is better than another, they simply take the money off anyone who's willing.
'This partnership complements our ongoing investment in cooling the Tube, which includes improving ventilation systems at our stations and introducing new air conditioned trains, which will serve 40 per cent of the Underground network by the end of this year.'
Hang on a second. Thanks to a major programme of investment, almost complete, air-conditioned trains already form the great majority of rolling stock on 40% of the Underground network. If your journey today is on the Metropolitan, Circle or Hammersmith and City lines you don't need a bottle of water to cool you down, and if you're on the District line you probably don't. Bottles of water are only of potential use in preventing alarm-pull delays on the deep level tube, where yes, conditions today may be pretty bad. But TfL's advice covers all tube journeys, because the organisation believes in simplicity, rather than 'confusing' the travelling public with something more specific.
Bryan Martins, <brand> Marketing Director, said: `We are delighted to have the chance to help commuters keep cool this summer once again and deliver some much needed 'Live Young' refreshment.'
And this, this is the point of the entire exercise. Bryan's team has come up with a meaningless 'Live Young' slogan, and now they get to shoehorn it into a press release in the hope that media outlets no longer staffed by journalists will cut and paste their words and regurgitate the slogan in front of a vast target audience. There wouldn't be any free bottles, nor any press release, if Bryan's brand didn't have a campaign to promote.
TfL gives the following advice to customers travelling on the Tube during the summer months:
Finally, three bullet points to summarise the behavioural changes TfL would like to see.
• Carry water with you at all times, to stay hydrated
An over-simplified over-nannying over-reaction, as discussed.
• Don't board a train or bus if you feel unwell
This is badly over-simplified too, at face value suggesting that all journeys to the doctor's (or to hospital) should be by car or taxi.
• If you feel unwell please get off at the next stop and seek help from our staff as help can be more easily obtained on a platform.
But this is bloody excellent advice. Don't be an idiot and slow down an entire tube line by staying on the tube if you're unwell. The staff at the next station might even have some water to perk you up, and see you on your way.

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