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Audience Knowing your audience is essential in any communications effort, whether it is a simple story pitch or an initiative designed to connect with a vast audience.

The Kyoto (Japan) Convention & Visitors Bureau, site of the recent Public Relations Global Network’s (PRGN) semi-annual meetings, has it figured out – at least when it comes to communicating with those it has been successful in attracting to its city.

Japan is the number one destination in Asia for international meetings – and Kyoto is number two in Japan, behind Tokyo.

The moment you step outside Kyoto Station, the city’s major railway station and transportation hub, you are greeted with Audiencesignage specifically targeting foreign travelers, alerting them to the availability of taxis just for them.

There are 101 specially-marked cabs and 170 drivers certified by Kyoto’s taxi companies.  The drivers have received special training in customer service and foreign languages.  They also accept credit cards, contrary to most taxis in Japan who do not.

The idea came from the city of Kyoto to improve its hospitality for tourists from all over the world.  After a brief trial period, the program was launched last year and is going strong today.

Here’s proof that knowing your audience can lead to communication success, which leads to an initiative’s overall success.

Oh, and here’s another tip:  taxi drivers in Japan do not accept tips!

Scott Hanson
Scott Hanson
President Scott is president of HMA Public Relations and a founding member of the Public Relations Global Network. He’s a Phoenix native, husband, father of two and a fan of all sports and a participant in some. Check out Scott's full bio

1 Comment

  1. David Landis says:

    I think businesses in America can learn alot from the hospitality and courtesy shown by 99% of the Japanese we met during the conference there. Not only do they understand that making society better as a whole is better for the common good, but they see relationships as key to business success. Here’s to Japan! Kampai!

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