Lyft is making headlines every day. Whether we’re launching in 24 cities or unveiling a new community initiative, every story can be traced back to our passionate PR team and the hours they spend bringing public attention to our collective mission. Meet Erin, Lyft's Director of Communications.
What inspired you to join Lyft (then Zimride)?
Growing up in LA, you spend so much time alone in your car stuck in traffic. You have a moment when you look around at all the other cars, and we're all stressed, alone and not moving in what are essentially these metal cages, and it feels like, “This is not how human beings were meant to be.”
When I heard about Zimride and the mission of connecting people while making transportation more efficient and affordable, it really resonated with me and I was excited to tell that story to a larger audience.
Describe your role here at HQ.
I run communications along with a very awesome and talented team. We’re the voice of the company to the outside world. Almost any time you see Lyft mentioned in the news, you can guarantee they talked to one of us on the team. Even if you don’t see a direct quote from us, it’s our job to make sure the stories are fair and the facts are straight.
When I’m asked to describe Lyft, I always bring it back to our driver community. That’s the number one thing that defines us and how we’re different from anything else. If all of the news stories on Lyft were about our drivers and the experiences they have with their passengers, that would be my dream.
Is there a particular announcement or media milestone that stands out in your mind as a favorite?
One of my favorites from a while back was when we were on the TODAY Show. It came out in 2012, the year we launched, and although we were only in San Francisco at the time we were able to reach a huge national audience. People across the country were able to see real rides in action and get excited for when Lyft would come to their city.
What should drivers do if they’re approached by the media?
If a reporter starts asking you questions, only respond with what you feel comfortable saying. It’s their job to ask a lot of questions, but if you don’t know the answer or don't want to be interviewed, just let them know. You should also email our team at email@example.com. We’ll respond really quickly and get in touch with the reporter to make sure they have everything they need for their story.
If you have an idea for press or know a reporter who should hear the Lyft story, we ask that you contact us first so we can work together rather than you contacting the reporter directly.
Do you have a favorite Lyft story from your own experience?
I’ve had many memorable rides. I remember one in particular with Carlo, one of our original SF drivers. I’d ridden with him a few times before and he could tell I’d had a long day and didn’t feel like talking. We were driving along and a Jay Z song came on the radio. Carlo asked if I wanted the music a little louder, and I said sure. I started bobbing my head, and he turned it up a little more, then a little more, and by the end of the ride we were singing along at the top of our lungs. When I got out of his car, I was smiling and laughing– my whole day had turned around. Sometimes a small gesture like that can completely change someone’s mood.
What’s one thing you want every driver to know?
You are the ones who can truly tell our story. You make the experience and community what it is. Thank you for all that you do.
Tell us your favorite Lyft milestone and say hello to Erin in the comments.