Skip to comments.CSX, Norfolk Southern launch ads to help get government funding
Posted on 11/14/2008 10:10:04 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. CSX Corp. is taking a different approach to the government.
For years, the railroad industry wanted to keep government out of its affairs. But an increase in advertising by CSX (NYSE: CSX) and Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE: NSC) is an attempt to make voters and policymakers aware of rails benefits, said Anthony Hatch, a New York City-based transportation analyst.
The industry had been going through the pains of deregulation and was trying to do as much as they could to be ignored by the government, he said. That began to change over the past decade as railroads began to see the advantages of government partnerships.
The payoff could come in the next federal transportation bill and with public-private collaboration on improvements to the railroads infrastructure. Hatch expects the transportation bill, which is expected to be passed next year, wont focus on road infrastructure as in the past, but will be more comprehensive by including rail, water and air transport.
The increase in advertising also comes as Congress holds hearings on the rail industrys rate charges and safety and infrastructure improvements. During tough economic times, its also worth telling the public about your positive impact, especially for an industry whose earnings are up 20 percent, Hatch said.
Much of CSXs advertising focuses on the environmental benefits of rail. Its similar to the marketing push for its National Gateway project, a $724 million public-private infrastructure initiative to create an efficient link between Mid-Atlantic ports and the Midwest.
By improving its rails, CSX will be able to double-stack transportation containers on routes from east to west, saving fuel, cutting down on pollution and increasing train use. For every $1 invested, the public will receive $8 in benefits, said CSX Vice President of Corporate Communications Vance Meyer.
Hatch said the advertising isnt directed at drumming up support for the initiative, but is part of a broader strategy to make the companys worth known. Through TV, radio, online and print advertising, CSX is making the case that rail reduces the amount of truck-trailer traffic on the roads, making roadways safer. Plus, rail transport produces fewer emissions than truck-trailer transport.
Meyer declined to say how much the company had spent on advertising in the past year, but said there has been a significant change in the intensity of our communications with the public.
He said the commercials also help boost employee morale and work as a recruiting tool.
Because CSX, like other companies that run large transportation networks, needs a license to operate, advertising is aimed at asking citizens for that endorsement, Meyer said.
The advertising is aimed at engaged citizens, who are more likely to vote, he said. This target market tends to follow the news, so TV commercials run on CNN, Fox News, The Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel, The Weather Channel and The History Channel.
CSX also advertises on National Public Radio, ABC Radio Networks, CNNMoney.com, Yahoo.com and FoxNews.com. Its print advertisements have run in regional and national newspapers such as The Florida Times-Union and The Wall Street Journal.
Norfolk Southern Corp.s seven-digit advertising budget hasnt changed, but has been more focused toward engaged viewership, said Frank Brown, the companys vice president of corporate communications. The companys previous advertising was focused on its customers and financial readers, but now its ads run on CNN, Fox News, Economist.com and Huffingtonpost.com.
Brown said advertising aimed at the public was increased this fall as it took advantage of the involved viewers interest in the presidential election. Norfolk Southern advertised in Congressional Quarterly and sponsored programs at the Democratic and Republican conventions.
Similar to CSXs National Gateway project, Norfolk Southern has started a $266 million project to enlarge several dozen rail tunnels between Norfolk, Va., and Columbus, Ohio, so double-stacked trains can pass through. It is just one of many public-private partnership initiatives the company is pursuing.
The advertising is nothing more than it appears, Brown said. I think that the more people know about railroads benefits, then you would hope regulators make the right decision.
Hell.. lets just nationalize everything in this freaking country.....
The bailout is doing that and everyone is trying to get taxpayers to fund their schemes
I swear by all that is Holy this whole mess was orchestrated to get all big industries to come grovelling to our elected officials in Washington.
"Let's see...how can we best take advantage of today's economic uncertainties and guarantee that lobbyists and corporate executives will be on their knees to service us and lavish money and gifts on us for the next 20 years? And get the Republicans tossed out on their asses at the same time?"
I am getting to the point where I want to escape this madness.
Is there another country out there that resembles the free country we used to have? A country with low taxes and small government? A place that permits gun ownership where leftism isn’t on the march? My family would happily move there.
Maybe a largely conservative state will eventually break away. I believe Alaska would be a good candidate for succession. The state has a large land area, tons of natural resources, and a population that is tired of their state being a huge unusable national park.
The one thing that I really don’t want to see nationalized...is Hooters. It would bother me if some government guy attempted to run the company.
Yet the most fuel efficient system, the railroad, is forced to build and maintain their own tracks, plus pay property tax on them.
Once upon a time a man appeared in a village and announced to the
villagers that he would buy monkeys for $10 each.
The villagers, seeing that there were many monkeys around, went out
to the forest and started catching them.
The man bought thousands at $10 and, as supply started to diminish,
the villagers stopped their effort. He next announced that he would
now buy monkeys at $20 each. This renewed the efforts of the
villagers and they started catching monkeys again.
Soon the supply diminished even further and people started going
back to their farms. The offer increased to $25 each and the supply
of monkeys became so scarce it was an effort to even find a monkey,
let alone catch it!
The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at $50 each!
However, since he had to go to the city on some business, his
assistant would buy on his behalf.
In the absence of the man, the assistant told the villagers: ‘Look
at All these monkeys in the big cage that the man has already
collected. I will sell them to you at $35 and when the man returns
from the city, You can sell them to him for $50 each.’
The villagers rounded up all their savings and bought all the
monkeys For 700 billion dollars.
They never saw the man or his assistant again, only lots and lots of
Now you have a better understanding of how the WALL STREET BAILOUT
PLAN WILL WORK !!!!
Be patient. This is a softening up period to get us accustomed to central planning before the new 'Leader' takes over.
El Presidente Bush has been working on the master plan for eight years now.
Yes, the IRS made a real mess bar-coding at the mustang ranch when they owned it.