Poetry in Motion - The Transit Hero

Robyn Quinn, APR

Last fall I heard an extraordinary spoken word artist, Canadian slam poet Shane Koyczan, who uses hip hop style sounds and cadence to engage his audience with topics that are important. Fast forward to January, when I was contracted to manage the delivery of a mixed media campaign for BC Transit; they needed to reinforce the value of taking public transit as an environmental choice. We wanted to recognize and appreciate the riders and ask non-riders to consider public transit in a different light. Originally directed to produce a radio jingle I proposed to use poetry and Shane’s talent instead to emotionally connect with BC Transit riders and potential riders.

Meanwhile the world was watching BC and at the 2010 Olympics Opening Ceremonies Shane spoke a poem commissioned by the Canadian Tourism Commission in 2007, “We are More”. Thanks to that amazing performance it was an easy decision to ask him to write and perform “Transit Hero”. Shane wrote and performed the spots within three weeksof my first call to him. The results have been incredible and I will expand on the way this campaign has touched not only external audiences but internal as well — creating a sense of pride and commitment to the planet.

About Robyn Quinn, APR:

Robyn Quinn, APR has over 15 years experience in both corporate and consulting roles creating insightful communications strategies and campaigns for science, technology, environment,the military, not-for-profit, entertainment, transportation and tourism. She was named Chair of the School of Communication and Culture Advisory Board of Royal Roads University in early 2010.

A graduate of Saint Mary’s University (Halifax) and the WorldTrade Institute (International Marketing and Finance) Robyn is currently in her second year of Masters in Professional Communication. Robyn is an accredited member of the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) and served as the CPRS National President 2004-2005. She is a member of the Vancouver Island Technology Council and an active national member of the Professional Writers Association of Canada and the Science Writers Association of Canada. Robyn received the 2007 Don Rennie Award for Excellence in Government Communications while with Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (NS) for the launch of the Immigrant Entrepreneur Guide to Nova Scotia. In 2008 Robyn co-chaired National Science and Technology Week for BC and the Yukon. Her current clients include museums, public transit, software and app developers and hydrogen fuel technology leaders.

She lives in Victoria with her son Evan and two mini wiener dogs and tries to golf whenever it isn’t raining.

2010 IdeaWave