Two DOTs Unveil New Websites Focused on Users

The workhorse of the modern strategic communications program is the website. It’s the starting point, hosting the most important elements of a brand – from the visuals to the basic brand promise.

Two state DOTs – Washington (WSDOT) and New Mexico (NMDOT) – unveiled updated websites this month and both emphasize information that the public wants the most.

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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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Getting to ‘Know’: Tools Helping DOTs Reach People During Emergencies

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.

Traffic backed up on Interstate 5 in Vancouver, Wash., in Feb. 2019. Courtesy WSDOT licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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?

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