Colorado DOT’s ‘Ballpark Guessing’ Aims to Get Everyone Safely Home

The difference between outstanding and blah sometimes comes in subtle ways. In this powerful video posted recently by the Colorado Department of Transportation, the excellence is obvious – if you look.

The video takes place at a baseball stadium. The host interviews people, asking them how much alcohol they have consumed. Then, she asks each person whether they would be willing to drive. Then, she has them use a personal breathalyzer to test their blood alcohol level.

Continue reading “Colorado DOT’s ‘Ballpark Guessing’ Aims to Get Everyone Safely Home”

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Oregon, Washington Take on Distracted Driving Epidemic with New Campaigns, Tougher Laws

798px-I-55_I-40_West_Memphis_AR_distracted_driving_warning_signIn Oregon, 75 percent of drivers admit to driving distracted. Nationally, at least that many drivers are eating, shaving, putting on makeup, texting, reading the newspaper … while driving a vehicle.

“As a culture I think we’re ready for a change,” said Tom Fuller, Oregon DOT communications manager, in a recent news release announcing a new statewide campaign there intended to help people drive more safely.

“The stories of deaths and injuries from distracted driving are as horrific as they are preventable,” Fuller added.

Continue reading “Oregon, Washington Take on Distracted Driving Epidemic with New Campaigns, Tougher Laws”

Happy Birthday iPhone: Tech May Change, Good Communications Remains the Same

iPhone5The iPhone turned 10 last month. As Steve Jobs began to introduce the iPhone at the MacWorld conference in 2007, he said, “We’re going to make history together today.” 

That certainly was true. The iPhone wasn’t the first smartphone, but it revolutionized how people communicated and how they sought out information – two things that have largely reshaped the ways in which communications teams within transportation departments do their work.

In 2007, a DOT team with which I worked teamed up with a local utility company to insert construction announcements into monthly water bills that went to residents near a major project. It was expensive and time-consuming. And, we had no way of knowing whether the people who opened the utility bill even read the notice.

Continue reading “Happy Birthday iPhone: Tech May Change, Good Communications Remains the Same”

Taking A Look Inside: Survey of State DOTs Offers Glimpse into Internal Comms

talking-clipart-people_standing_around_a_watercooler_talking_and_gossiping_0515-1103-1504-1157_SMUIt is no secret that state DOTs throughout the country have become adept communications organizations. The focus in many DOTs is turning away from the road to toward the people who use the transportation system – all its modes and priorities.

Whether you find yourself at a gathering of bridge engineers or environmental planners, the topic of communications has a good chance of being discussed. Continue reading “Taking A Look Inside: Survey of State DOTs Offers Glimpse into Internal Comms”

New CEO Video Series Targets ADOT Employees

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.  Continue reading “New CEO Video Series Targets ADOT Employees”

Talking Transportation, Innovation

The Transportation Research Board meeting held annually in Washington DC is among the largest gatherings of transportation geeks in the world. The January meeting typically tops 11,000 attendees with sessions and workshops beginning early in the morning and running well into the evening. The printed agenda is massive and looks and weighs like a major city phone book. The TRB annual meeting is indeed a big deal. Continue reading “Talking Transportation, Innovation”

Sasquatch takes a walk, educates Oregonians on pedestrian crossings

There is no shortage of creativity in transportation communications. In this example, the folks at Oregon Department of Transportation and Metro – the Portland area regional government – turned to a Northwest icon to help educate motorists about pedestrian crossings.