Can you hear me now? Taking time to evaluate the communication effort

RTG79RqTLRegardless of where we work in transportation communications — state or local transportation department, transit agency or special interest group — we all have messages to deliver and stories to tell.

Have you ever asked how that was going?

Sure, we can track how many news releases we write and some even go further and track what publications actually print stories that include mention of our agencies. But how can we track whether our messages are really getting delivered? Are people really listening?

Continue reading “Can you hear me now? Taking time to evaluate the communication effort”

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Brrr! Audio, video social media tools help Maryland’s SHA share the latest road information

It’s cold out there and the Maryland State Highway Administration — like most highway and transportation agencies around the country — has plenty of tips and suggestions to help people travel safely during difficult weather events. But it is where and how SHA is posting its information that is rather interesting.

Maryland’s highway agency is using a combination of SoundCloud, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to tightly integrate its safety messaging. Continue reading “Brrr! Audio, video social media tools help Maryland’s SHA share the latest road information”

Journalism is here to stay, so listen up

typewriter, iPad and television

This week I got a chance to attend a local Public Relations Society of America National Capitol Chapter sponsored panel session featuring multimedia news reporters. I jump at any chance to listen to journalists, especially when they are willing to talk about the shifting sands upon which the industry is currently built.  Continue reading “Journalism is here to stay, so listen up”

State of the Media: Why it still matters

I learned some very important lessons in journalism school (aka: Washington State University. Go Cougs!).

I learned the proper use of the comma. I learned never to use passive verbs. And I learned to follow the money. Always follow the money.

So what does that have to do with communicating about transportation? A lot, actually.

Continue reading “State of the Media: Why it still matters”

Media relations: Is your news outreach making the grade?

Photo courtesy Washington State Department of Transportation

We are at a unique point in the evolution of transportation agency media relations. The evidence is mounting that journalists and journalism are changing in ways we hardly could have expected just a few years ago.

For instance, the New York Times and the Financial Times both are close to generating more revenue from subscribers than advertising dollars.  Just reaching that point suggests an amazing shift in power that we will have to watch closely. Gigaom takes a hard look at why and how the basic economics of news operations might affect the size and scope of the news industry. And, I’ve written before (“Three insights for transportation communicators from today’s newsroom editors”) about how reporters are increasingly using social media to help cover their topic areas.

Such a change in tactics by reporters would certainly suggest we should be shifting our tools of engagement, right? Continue reading “Media relations: Is your news outreach making the grade?”