Selling Transportation: Big Challenge, Different Stories

Many different organizations have tried to raise the general public awareness for the current state of the nation’s transportation infrastructure. In March, the American Society of Civil Engineers updated its infrastructure report card, giving the United States a D+ grade and projecting a $3.6 trillion investment need.

While this report cast a net far beyond just roads and bridges, it represents the kind of “things are falling apart and we can’t keep up” messaging that is often used when discussing transportation system investment needs.

Lately a different point of view is gaining traction in transportation circles. Instead of focusing on the need, focus on the role transportation plays in the nation’s economy and our overall quality of life.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is the latest agency to explore this strategy which is built upon messaging more reminiscent of President Reagan’s classic 1984 re-election campaign ad,”It’s Morning in America Again.”

Regardless of which approach you prefer, it is clear that there is power in how we tell the story. The way in which we frame the issue will be a critical factor in whether we realize crumbling bridges or a vibrant, fulfilling future.

About these ads

About Lloyd Brown

I am the director of communications for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. I enjoy running marathons and triathlons, playing guitar and spending time with family. My professional interest is in how social media and new technology shapes the communication relationship between government and the general public. I have a Master’s degree in Communications and Leadership from Gonzaga University in Spokane and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Washington State University.
This entry was posted in Communications and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Selling Transportation: Big Challenge, Different Stories

  1. Reblogged this on Value Capture for Transit & Transportation and commented:
    From AASHTO’s Director of Communications: “Instead of focusing on the need, focus on the role transportation plays in the nation’s economy and our overall quality of life.”

    This is a good message for all of us who support increased investment in our transportation system.

  2. Bill Cramer says:

    Great MNDOT video and great message, Lloyd. A positive message always wins the day.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s