TransComm Announces State DOT Communications Awards Winners

A strategic campaign supporting connected vehicle technology in Utah and a broad-reaching integrated anti-litter campaign in North Carolina grabbed the two top awards in the 2021 annual TransComm Skills Awards that were announced in September during a virtual committee meeting.

TransComm, AASHTO’s Committee on Transportation Communications, sponsors the annual skills awards to facilitate the sharing of best practices and to recognize outstanding communications efforts.

A total of 17 states earned at least one award recognizing outstanding work in a range of communications skills, tactics and campaigns.

Utah DOT earned the Excel Award for best integrated campaign with consultant support for its “Automated Shuttle Pilot Pilot Outreach” effort. The campaign helped educate Utahan about the states first automated shuttle. But midway through the project a shuttle passenger was injured and Utah engaged its crisis communications response plan.

Oklahoma DOT earned the award for best public service announcement from TransComm for its 2021 “Work Zones Are In Bloom” video.

North Carolina earned the Excel Award for best campaign without a consultant for its #DontTrashNC anti-litter campaign. Little clean up along North Carolina highways suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic. The NCDOT communication team developed a robust initiative that raised awareness for the issue and reignited interest in the annual volunteer-based Spring Litter Sweep.

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Driver Alert: Humor Highlights Award-Winning Virginia PSA

Each year, the AASHTO Committee on Transportation Communications known as TransComm, hands out awards to state DOTs for outstanding communication, advertising and marketing campaigns and tactics.

One of the 2019 honorees, a public service announcement produced by the Virginia Department of Transportation, used humor to capture drivers’ attention and raise awareness for an annual challenge.

Virginia DOT used humor to remind motorists to watch out for deer.

During deer mating season, drivers have a much higher chance of encountering deer in the roadway, especially during dawn and dusk when visibility is lessened.

According to the VDOT award entry, more than 60,000 vehicle crashes involving deer took place last year. VDOT posted the PSA on Facebook, reaching more than 99,800 users. The 30-second video was shared 652 times on Facebook. It’s been viewed more than 24,000 times.

Congratulations to VDOT for using humor to highlight a serious safety issue for drivers.

The hottest new tactic for transportation agencies is podcasts? Yes, podcasts!

It may be hard to believe, but one of the hottest media tactics is podcasting. And several transportation departments and trade associations have developed podcasts as a way to reach what experts says is a still growing audience.

According to “The Podcast Consumer 2019,” a report published by Edison Research earlier this year, 22 percent of people age 12 and older listen to podcasts weekly, and nearly a third of people listen to podcasts monthly.

Edison’s report finds that the audience share for podcasting has grown a whopping 122 percent since 2014. And, young people age 12-24 are among the largest consumers of podcasting.

Music Oomph has compiled a host of interesting statistics on podcasting.

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New AASHTO Report Shows State DOT Social Media Trends

smreportcoverIt was only a handful of years ago that the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, my work-day employer, began polling its member state departments of transportation about their growing implementation of social media tools.

 

In 2009, less than half of states used Facebook and then most were tepid in their level of engagement. The dominant tool for state DOTs was Twitter, but it was used almost exclusively for sharing roadway traffic conditions and emergency information.

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