TTC CEO impresses commuters: PR expert

Praise from an expert on how Andy Byford handled Mar. 24 TTC fuel leak

TTC CEO Andy Byford was spotted yesterday morning on the subway by a fellow passenger. Lauren/TTC Rider

TTC CEO Andy Byford is living up to his job description, by handling Tuesday’s environmental spill with poise.

That’s the message from Donna Lindell, the program coordinator of Corporate Communications and Public Relations, at Centennial College in Toronto.

Lindell paid close attention to the TTC delay, and thought it was handled smoothly, from a public relations point of view.

“They continued to update even though it wasn’t necessarily new information they were sending out updates,”she said. “They handled it promptly, they knew they had to get out communications in multiple forms, information that customers needed”.

On Tuesday, Mar. 24 there was an environmental spill underground near College Station.  As a result, subway service stopped operating between Bloor and St. George stations, causing duress for tens of thousands of morning commuters.

The TTC via Byford sent out constant updates between 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and by doing so alleviated stress for customers.

“The TTC did a really good job of communications, they have so many people that they’re servicing who all have access to social media and can tweet out complaints,”she said. “Part of what they did was handle it with professionalism and with speed.”

She was impressed by how executives, including Byford, were working the front lines, to help commuters get to their destinations as quickly as possible,  given the delay.

“Having the CEO present and visible shows that he’s part of the team and he’s in charge,” she said.”One of the clever things they did was tweet out photos of the actual spill and that got ahead of the story, rather than letting anyone else tell the story,  they were out there saying ‘Yep here’s the photos’.”

Hear Byford in an interview with Toronto Observer’s Melvin Gomez.

See how the public reacted to Byford, in this Storify:

About this article

By: Steph Backus
Posted: Mar 26 2015 8:24 pm
Filed under: News