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”
In 2009, the District Department of Transportation began what, at the time, was a fairly novel way of interacting with the public over the state of infrastructure. What became known as “Pothole Palooza” was quite brilliant. The folks at DDOT told the public to “tweet” photos and the location of potholes and someone with the city would be out to fix it within 72 hours.
The response was immediate and immediately successful. The public responded so well that in 2015, the District announced that it had fixed more than 36,000 potholes during its annual spring campaigns. You can actually see the results and track repairs on a DC DOT map. Continue reading “Talking Transportation: From ‘Pothole Palooza’ to the Tweeting Pothole”
A new research report published this week by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program offers some insight into how the general public views transportation, and suggests some ways to discuss investments that could generate greater support.
But there are not any “silver bullet” messages that work in every situation.
“Mobile Messages: Moving People to Support Transportation,” analyzes the results of more than two dozen case studies; a survey of transportation agency officials; eight focus groups; and, two dial testing sessions. Continue reading “New Research Reveals Messages that Move Public to Support Transportation Investments”
The old adage that all news is local remains just as true today as it did before the advent of the internet and mobile devices.
According to a recently released Pew Research Center study, interest in local news remains strong. And, the study shows that traditional media outlets – especially local television – remain important outlets for local news.
The study looked at news media habits in three communities – Denver; Sioux City, Iowa; and, Macon, Georgia. The researchers used a local news media audit, a survey of local residents and an analysis of social media (Twitter and Facebook posts in those areas). Continue reading “Getting to the right audience is tougher than ever despite strong interest in local news”
Check your calendars. Earth Day is April 22, just weeks away. This will be the 45th anniversary of the first Earth Day, which is commonly referred to as the start of the modern environmental movement.
I remember as a child in the 70s being taught to “Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute” and I remember the Keep American Beautiful public service announcement that featured a tear falling down the cheek of a Native American as he watched garbage pile up in rivers and streams.
Those were powerful messages that helped shape my view of litter and helped my generation understand that our natural environment was important to protect. Continue reading “Talking Environment: Transportation Messaging and Accountability”
The fifth annual state department of transportation social media survey results were released last month at the annual meeting of TransComm, the AASHTO Subcommittee on Transportation Communications.
(Editor’s note: Full disclosure, I work at AASHTO and oversee the annual survey of state DOTs. Much of the discussion below comes from observations while reviewing raw survey data.)
The survey, started in 2009, confirms what we all probably already suspect. State DOTs are heavily invested in social media outreach both in the operations and public involvement areas. The 2014 survey confirms that not only are the state DOTs utilizing social media tools, many are doing so at a very sophisticated level.
Continue reading “Annual Survey Shows States Still Driving Toward Greater Social Media Usage”