Streaming live events is not necessarily a new idea for transportation agencies. But one state DOT has found that leveraging live streaming capabilities within Facebook can generate huge results.
The Washington State Department of Transportation was one of the first state DOTs to experiment with Periscope, a live streaming service owned by Twitter. The 2015 State DOT Social Media Survey found that about 10 percent of DOTs in 2015 were using either Periscope, or the similar Meerkat, streaming media service.
According to WSDOT, the massive tunnel boring machine Bertha had carved nearly a third of the length of the nearly 2-mile-long tunnel that will ultimately replace the aging Alaskan Way Viaduct that runs north and south along Seattle’s iconic waterfront.
I never realized how dangerous it was for teen drivers to climb behind the wheel until recently when it was time to teach my teenage son how to drive. Not even when I was a young person did I fully appreciate the myriad distractions, and the literally non-stop decision-making necessary for someone to drive safely on our roadways.
Driving is not easy. Perhaps that’s why more than 32,000 people are killed in roadway crashes each year. That’s a staggering amount by any measure.
State DOTs and other public safety organizations around the country are doing their part to try and get all of us – the experienced driver and the young person – to imagine a future when no one dies on America’s roadways.
Under the banner “Toward Zero Deaths,” a coalition of transportation organizations have decided that our national target goal for roadway deaths should be less than one.
Many state examples of public outreach campaigns touting the target goal can be found online. Mississippi Department of Transportation recently launched its web site and it features a game show-themed video asking regular people safety related messages.
Mississippi’s video follows the lead of states like Utah, Iowa and Nevada by asking people how many deaths are acceptable on the nation’s highways. Then they ask, how many deaths are acceptable in that person’s family. Of course it’s zero.
I have always considered it clever and effective to make the issue of safety intensely personal. But nothing makes the topic as effective as climbing into a vehicle with a young driver.
In transportation circles we tend to talk among ourselves a bit. Those in construction, planning, engineering and operations all understand the reasons why a robust transportation infrastructure is important to the national economy and our quality of life, largely because it is important to these industries’ economies and qualities of life.
What we can miss is the broader coalition of advocates who can offer a much more credible commentary on the situation. In this video, the National Retail Federation does an excellent job telling the story of how 420 million packages will be shipped this holiday season. And, those packages are not moving to your doorstep by drones. It takes a dynamic and dependable transportation system for our economy to move.
So, next time you find yourself looking at your coalition of support, ask the simple question, “Who are the customers?” It will keep you focused on the best messages and you will find a deeper pool of advocates than you might have first imagined.
Editor’s note: Many thanks to the National Retail Federation (@nrfnews) and Steven Schatz (@stephenschatz) for passing along this video.
The survey, which is conducted each spring, asks state departments of transportation about their use of social media tools and issues related to deployment of social media tools as a way to measure the adoption, implementation and best practices for the industry. (Editor’s note: Full disclosure time. I annually help write the survey and help analyze the results of this report for AASHTO, which is my employer).