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.
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.
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.
Winter is coming and for state DOTs that means preparing to clear roads and assist motorists. Public information campaigns for years have focused on helping motorists “know before you go” by checking web sites and apps for the latest road condition and weather information. Additionally, officials have urged motorists to winterize their vehicles and to carry emergency supplies.
But sometimes things happen – a sudden storm or natural disaster – that are so unforeseen that the transportation system is tied up and motorists are stranded. What communication strategies are in place for those situations?
Transportation organizations have important information to share with the traveling public. That’s especially true during natural disasters when maintenance crews and first responders are often the first people surveying damage and assessing the status of infrastructure leading to people’s homes and businesses.