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?

Continue reading “Getting to ‘Know’: Tools Helping DOTs Reach People During Emergencies”

Talking Audiences: You Can’t Reach Them from There

typewriter, iPad and televisionIn the transportation communications business there are always two critical questions that should start most conversations:

  • “What do you want to say?” (the key messages)
  • “Who do you want to hear it?”(the target audiences)

Once we figure out those two questions, the hard work begins outlining strategies and tactics that we will need to reach the target audiences. But, unfortunately, it is very common for our colleagues to jump to the tactic, without really considering those questions – what and whom?

Continue reading “Talking Audiences: You Can’t Reach Them from There”

Getting to the right audience is tougher than ever despite strong interest in local news

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According to a new Pew Research Center report, “Across all levels of engagements and in all three cities, local TV is the top source of local news.”

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”