Hi everyone. We hope you’re keeping safe and well. This week we’re looking ahead with hope and positivity to when we can start promoting rail travel again.
As always, scroll down for great examples and stories from our members and partners. If you have stories for future bulletins, please email Nik.
Planning for promotion
We know everyone in community rail is looking forward to being able to promote rail travel again. If you’re making plans and preparations, there are ways we can help:
- Communications and marketing guidance – our guidance sheet will help you review the channels you’re using and ensure these are in sync and well set-up;
- Do a tourism and leisure audit – our advice on reviewing your tourism and leisure ‘offer’ is being used by a number of our members to carry out an audit and plan ahead. Or see our other materials on this topic here;
- Over-the-phone advice or surgeries with our team – our comms manager Nik and tourism officer Alice can provide expert advice and guidance.
We’re also running a focus group with a small number of members this week to find out if there’s more we can do to help.
In terms of your messaging and approach, you might find it useful to draw on these key sources of information and research, which suggest how our communications activities might be most effective in a post-Covid world:
- Communicating Community Rail report – looking at techniques community rail can deploy to effectively promote sustainable travel (drawing on behavioural research);
- Transport Focus ‘travel during Covid’ reports – we’ve been sharing these regularly and you’ll find the latest here, showing views on transport through the pandemic;
- New research on behavioural change – report from NatCen showing what’s likely to be effective in enabling and encouraging a switch from car to public transport;
- RSSB and RDG info on rail safety – industry info on cleanliness and risk.
Events and opportunities this year
As well as providing advice, we’re looking to coordinate a number of events and opportunities this year that members will be able to get involved in locally:
- We’re delivering a series of regional/national media campaigns to highlight the good work going on in community rail (North, Scotland & Midlands on 24 March; South East, East of England, South West & Wales on 31 March). A number of you have been contacted directly to feature in these. We’ll be sharing more info and encouraging everyone to support on social media and using your local links in the next bulletin;
- 30 June TBC, what was Community Rail in the City – With it looking unlikely our popular promotional event will run in the usual format in May, we’re looking at whether a digitally-focused event could take its place on 30 June. Details to follow;
- Late summer/early autumn TBC, Rail Confidence Week – This is to be confirmed, but thanks to a suggestion from Heart of England CRP, we’re considering how we can create a focal point for members’ all-important work engaging communities to build rail confidence. Watch this space.
Community Rail Conference
News from our partners
- East Midlands Railway launches annual ‘Build Back Better’ competition to win £5,000
- Covid-19 return to rail travel – latest research summary
News from our members
- New grants to support community initiatives in South Wales
- North Downs Line CRP helps prepare rail users for a brighter return
- Cheshire’s Friends of Goostrey Station move forward
- Friends of Handforth Station quizzes into spring
- Community rail officer vacancy – Heart of Wales Line Development Co.