It’s not always what you say…

…it’s how you say it.

You’ve heard that before. It’s why the fine print is fine. It’s why those late-night commercials have super fast announcers give you all the “legal notices.”

It’s how CSX promoters have tried to turn the recent tide of resentment against the Polk County Rail Hub.

One such website recently wrote “With recent media reports that new development doesn’t pay its way, that employment figures for the ILC were somehow inflated to mislead, that tax projections are too grandiose . .. you will find this report comes to very different conclusions and it has been available for 18 months.”

Strong opinion. A question: who hired the company to prepare the report? Instead of writing “a report was prepared” why not write the title: “CSX Real Property Inc. Development of an Integrated Logistic Center in Winter Haven, Florida?”

Why publish it as a less friendly PDF and other information as text?

We all know you shout the good news and whisper the bad. Here are some quotes from that blog:

CSX has kept their employment and completion projections conservative so as to not create unrealistic expectations. They estimate payroll and benefits when fully operational (8,500 employees) at $282 million. – Feb 2007 1

By calling 8,500 “conservative,” you let your readers dream of a far greater number.

Once the Winter Haven ILC is underway, CSX intends to purchase the surrounding 900+ acres the plans for which will be evaluated by the Development of Regional Impact (DRI) process. The plans call for a combination of warehousing, industrial and office space. Here are a few of the tenants attracted to the Alliance, Texas ILC:……(list of companies omitted for space) While the Winter Haven ILC is projected to employ 2,000 people when fully operational, companies like those listed above will, over time, locate facilities employing thousands more, bringing quality jobs and a diversified economic base. – May 2007 2

Build the Hub and they will come is the message. Not as specific this time, but “thousands more” is the message.

Now look at this Aug 2007 entry. Notice what’s missing? Yeah. No mention of 8,500. Oh, now the best we get is: “it is estimated than over the next decade up to 2,000 jobs will be created in the surrounding warehouse, industrial and office complexes.”

And some wonder why the media writes that CSX and CSX promoters have stopped crowing about 8,500. But, as you also know, once the big number has infiltrated the audience, it’s nigh impossible to get that number out of their heads. Even some reporters list the number as given People will form their opinions on the inflated number.

It’s why those commercials scream “Only $19.95!” and whisper “a month for six months.”

Later we discuss that CSX report…