There is a common tendency among most transportation agency communication teams to overlook one of their most important audiences – the agency employees.
Internal communications is tough, whether it is done for a major corporation or a transportation agency. The organization is generally spread across a large geographic area. Employees in different work groups and geographic areas might have different access to, and comfort with, different communication technologies. And, at the end of the day, the communication team kudos for a job well done most often come from external communications with media or the general public.
It is therefore always a treat for me to see interesting campaigns designed to connect with the internal audiences. In Arizona, that has taken the form of a new video series, “Direct Connect,” featuring Director John Halikowski.
According to Kim Katchur, video production project manager, “The goal is to create a fun and informative series of videos that allow Director Halikowski the opportunity to learn about the work employees do for the agency, while at the same time giving employees the chance to get to know the man who leads them.”
The web-based series is directly targeted toward the 3,800 employees of the Arizona DOT. It is supported and promoted through the more traditional monthly employee newsletter, “The Inside Lane.”
“Our strategy in shooting the series is to keep our production crew to a minimum … We want to capture real moments between the director and the employees,” said Katchur. “Although we will research and pre-produce each episode, there is no script. John (Halikowski) wears a wireless microphone and we follow the action as it takes place.”
The result is an entertaining and informative look behind the scenes of how a highly capable and professional transportation organization operates.
And, in my opinion, while the video is targeted toward the ADOT staff, it plays extremely well for the public, too. Ultimately, showing DOT employees as caring and effective professionals is always a good idea.