Transportation Communicating is About More Than Cars and Highways

Even as the price of fuel remains low and national vehicle miles traveled grows on our nation’s highways, there is no doubt that bicycling — whether competitively or recreationally — is growing in popularity.

Most states have policies and programs in place to support bicycling programs and infrastructure. In addition, state transportation departments tend to have employees who bike regularly. In many states the chief engineers and transportation CEOs regularly cycle and serve as the strongest advocates for bicycling. Continue reading “Transportation Communicating is About More Than Cars and Highways”

Boom! Wait, you have a cannon?

My friends at the Washington State Department of Transportation posted this photo on their Flickr feed recently. Amazing how a photo can offer a glimpse into the world of transportation.

FIRE!

From WSDOT: “Avalanche Specialist Alan Willard yells “FIRE!” as he shoots a howitzer. Crews are working to reduced avalanche hazard near SR 20 at Liberty Bell. The successful mission knocked down 8 feet of snow covering both lanes of the highway.”

Talking Environment: Transportation Messaging and Accountability

"Woodsy-Owl-original". Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Woodsy-Owl-original.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Woodsy-Owl-original.jpg
“Woodsy Owl” Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Woodsy-Owl-original.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Woodsy-Owl-original.jpg

Check your calendars. Earth Day is April 22, just weeks away. This will be the 45th anniversary of the first Earth Day, which is commonly referred to as the start of the modern environmental movement.

I remember as a child in the 70s being taught to “Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute” and I remember the Keep American Beautiful public service announcement that featured a tear falling down the cheek of a Native American as he watched garbage pile up in rivers and streams.

Those were powerful messages that helped shape my view of litter and helped my generation understand that our natural environment was important to protect. Continue reading “Talking Environment: Transportation Messaging and Accountability”

Talking Work Zone Safety: “He’s the best dad ever”

Be Work Zone Alert
The California Department of Transportation recently launched a new work zone safety campaign featuring agency workers and their families.

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)  and its partners — the California Highway Patrol, California Office of Highway Safety, California Department of Motor Vehicles and Impact Teen Drivers — recently launched a new work zone safety campaign featuring Caltrans employees and their children under the tagline, “Be Work Zone Alert.”

The multimedia campaign features a beautiful web page, outdoor advertising and public service announcements. Social media posts feature the hashtag #BeWorkZoneAlert.

Continue reading “Talking Work Zone Safety: “He’s the best dad ever””

Talking email: Social gets the headlines, email gets the eyeballs

facebook_aashtoTwitter and Facebook mostly likely get most of you team’s attention, while Instagram’s massive growth — especially with younger drivers and commuters — should probably push its way into your communication strategy.

But when was the last time you really thought about how well you are managing your email lists? Do you know your typical open rate on email newsletters or other email campaigns? Continue reading “Talking email: Social gets the headlines, email gets the eyeballs”

Annual Survey Shows States Still Driving Toward Greater Social Media Usage

The 2014 State DOT Social Media Survey shows states overwhelmingly prefer Facebook and Twitter over other social media tools.
The 2014 State DOT Social Media Survey shows states overwhelmingly prefer Facebook and Twitter over other social media tools.

The fifth annual state department of transportation social media survey results were released last month at the annual meeting of TransComm, the AASHTO Subcommittee on Transportation Communications.

(Editor’s note: Full disclosure, I work at AASHTO and oversee the annual survey of state DOTs. Much of the discussion below comes from observations while reviewing raw survey data.)

The survey, started in 2009, confirms what we all probably already suspect. State DOTs are heavily invested in social media outreach both in the operations and public involvement areas. The 2014 survey confirms that not only are the state DOTs utilizing social media tools, many are doing so at a very sophisticated level.
Continue reading “Annual Survey Shows States Still Driving Toward Greater Social Media Usage”