Classic train posters for Amtrak routes

Challenge

While Amtrak plays a vital role in providing intercity passenger rail service, the railroad regularly must communicate its value to a range of internal and external audiences to convey its progress on safety and security, customer service and financial excellence. Stratacomm assists Amtrak with key public-facing initiatives and provides counsel on changes taking place as Amtrak looks to ensure that their workforce today is best engaged to help lead Amtrak into the future.

Amtrak first engaged Stratacomm for a specific grassroots public education campaign aimed at encouraging public-private partnerships to facilitate passenger station upgrades. Since then, Amtrak also tapped Stratacomm to assist with a range of communications projects. 

Our Approach

Beginning in 2006, Stratacomm partnered with Amtrak to provide corporate communications counsel, external outreach recommendations and tactical implementation. The scope of our support includes several key areas within the company, including:

  • Government Affairs and Corporate Communication
  • Employee Communications
  • Employee Safety and Public Safety/Security Communications
  • Human Capital

Stratacomm’s work with Amtrak requires a robust communications suite of tactics, including:

  • Website development, design, content management and ongoing IT support
  • Event planning and execution at cross-country venues, involving:
    • Identifying and vetting event locations
    • Contract negotiations with multiple venues and vendors
    • Assembling and vetting invitation lists
    • Delivery of invitations via mail and HTML
    • Organization of RSVPs, vendors, travel and logistics
  • Media outreach strategy and targeted list development
  • Social media counsel and content production
  • Video and digital multimedia production, including scripting, strategy and execution
  • Editing and distributing quarterly e-newsletters and managing a database of nearly 1,700 individuals specific to the Great American Stations Project
  • Assisting with online promotion of the year-long 40th Anniversary Celebration and Exhibit Train through a dedicated website and regular email communication to patrons regarding the train’s schedule
  • Outreach to third-party organizations and public officials 

Results

  • Website Design – Following Amtrak’s 40th Anniversary, Stratacomm repurposed Amtrak40th.com and developed history.amtrak.com to highlight Amtrak’s history as a company, featuring weekly blog additions and a rich archive section with Amtrak memorabilia. Amtrak’s History website was honored with a 2013 Communicator Award. Additionally, Stratacomm recently developed the strategy and execution behind the GreatAmericanStations.com redesign, allowing the program to better reach target audiences and serve as an external resource.
  • Award-Winning Video Production – Working with Amtrak’s Safe-2-Safer initiative, our team scripted and produced three award-winning videos, featuring Mr. Boardman and front-line employees, for Amtrak employees on the importance safety plays in their company culture. The team also produced an award-winning tribute video honoring Washington, D.C.’s Union Station centennial celebration. 
  • Meeting Planning and Event Execution – Conceptualized, branded and executed Amtrak’s Great American Stations Civic Conversations, resulting in 10 day-long seminars across the country reaching more than 560 individuals from 130 communities throughout the network, including 45 mayors and 95 city planners. 
  • Employee Communications – Worked with Employee Communications and Human Capital Department during roll out of new benefits program for non-agreement employees, including video and collateral development.
  • Internal Communications – Developed strategic messaging and toolkit for Amtrak employees on Amtrak’s Strategic Goals and changes aimed to reduce Amtrak’s reliance on federal subsidies and operate more efficiently for customers. 
  • Public Unveiling of Security Protocols – Assisted Amtrak’s launch of the “See Something, Say Something” campaign – a high-stakes move to begin random high-visibility, highly armed security sweeps and random passenger screening at stations and on trains using special police forces carrying automatic weapons and working with bomb-sniffing dogs. Amtrak received an overwhelming level of media coverage, including prominent mention in USA Today, on the “Drudge Report” and on CBS Radio.
  • Historical Promotion – To observe 40 years as America’s Railroad, Amtrak set forth to celebrate its history with a year of activities that could be experienced nationwide. In partnership with Amtrak, Stratacomm created Amtrak40th.com, designed to educate visitors on the rich history of Amtrak, promote the Amtrak store and to excite and prompt guests to visit the Exhibit Train when it rolled into their local community.