McNeill, Warren Albert

Date:
5-27-1980
Length:
120 minutes.
Interviewer:
Bobo, Mary
Transcription available:
yes
Series:
Louisville and Nashville Railroad
Series ID:
9999_006
Interview Number(s):
__840
__841
Summary:
Educated in Virginia, newspaper experience in Lynchburg and Richmond. Work with the Associated Press in Richmond, New York, Nashville, and Washington, D.C, including administrative experience as AP Bureau Chief for Tennessee. Administrative assistant to Senator A. William Robertson of Virginia for the period 1947-1960. Reasons for moving to L&N in 1960: challenge in organizing the railroad's first public relations department. Expansion of public relations' functions to include a news bureau manned by Edison Thomas and Charles Castner. Promotion projects including production of films on L&N history and on the historic locomotive "The General." Use of The General for public service combined with emphasis on L&N progress. Innovative public relations projects: Use of The General, Kentucky arts and crafts train, films. Role of the public relations department in varied company activities: labor relations, government relations, community relations. Special events such as Lady Bird Special political train, special trains for inspection by company directors and business leaders. Rebuilding advertising programs as passenger service dwindled and disappeared. New emphasis on freight sales, promotion, and on corporate image. Cooperation with traffic department in developing advertising. Comments on public relations aspects of L&N expansion and mergers with NC&StL, the C&I, the Tennessee Central and the Monon railroads: media and community leader contacts. Changes in mission of L&N Magazine content aimed at customers and community leaders as well as employees, circulation split with "family section" going only to employees. Public relations' functions relating to company annual report, stockholders' meeting and special presentation of information. Positive aspects of L&N development and service during the 1960-1970 decade.
Topic(s):
Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company, Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company--Public relations, Journalists, Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company--Employees