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Ride the rails and share your stories with Amtrak’s new social media residency

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By Hillary Grigonis


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Have a passion for travel and a knack for telling stories? The new #AmtrakTakeMeThere social media residency program aims to highlight travel experiences from different travelers on Amtrak social media. Amtrak calls the program “an open casting call” to find travelers to share stories from aboard long-distance Amtrak trips.

The program, Amtrak says, isn’t looking for professional social media influencers and bloggers that travel for a living, but travelers with a story — and some photo and writing savvy to share that story. Those selected from the program will share their experience on long-distance train trips with their followers.

The #AmtrakTakeMeThere social media residency program is now accepting applications. The campaign aims to find social community leaders and typical Amtrak riders with the creativity and energy that allows them to connect with followers, Amtrak says. Judges are looking for writing skills, photography and videography skills, social engagement, and online personality. Those selected will have an initial evaluation period before becoming an Amtrak representative online through the program.

“Some of the best travel stories occur on our long-distance trains, and we are looking for travelers to share their real experiences,” said Tim Griffin, Amtrak chief marketing officer. “Adding the social media component allows our audience to connect and relate to each other.”

The applications are open from the #AmtrakTakeMeThere webpage now until January 31 at midnight ET. The application asks for contact and social media account information. Entrants will also answer a series of questions related to social media and Amtrak travel goals.

The program is designed to highlight the stories of real Amtrak travelers, the company says, instead of professional travel bloggers. Applicants are asked to share their social media accounts for Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.

While brands commonly look for social media influencers to promote their brands, Amtrak opted to run a contest to find nonprofessional influencers. “We’re not looking for glitzy influencers with millions of followers who quit their day job to travel the world,” the residency program page says.

Amtrak says the winners will be announced in the spring of 2019. The contest is open to entries from legal residents of the 48 contiguous states. Applicants also must be at least 18 years old. Applications are available online only.


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