One of the most exciting opportunities offered to government agencies by social media was the potential to increase how well they communicated with the general public. After more than 10 years of Facebook and Twitter, and dozens of other social media channels, the question is worth asking: Are we any better at engaging with the public than we were at the turn of the century?
State departments of transportation, and other state and local transportation agencies have long used social media channels to communicate about road conditions, transit disruptions, weather impacts, project meetings and safety messaging. In fact, we celebrate many of their efforts here at Talking Transportation, highlighting the bold, the funny, the thoughtful and the impacting.
For the sake of brevity, I’ll suggest that government agencies are doing a good job of sharing information about the basic elements of operating a transportation system.
Continue reading “A thorough look at how state DOTs use online public involvement”
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.
Last month, Pew Research Center and the Knight Foundation published the latest report that shows nearly half of U.S. adults are getting their news from Facebook. Meanwhile, the annual State of the News Media report found a continued decline in local daily newspaper circulation (down 7 percent) and local TV news viewership (down 5 percent late night and down 2 percent mornings).
Continue reading “Transportation Agencies Take Note: Facebook Matters in a Crisis”
In 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”
To remain most effective in communications, it is a good idea to pay attention to what’s happening on the Internet. After all, the societal embrace of the Internet with all of its information sharing and communications power has had a profound influence on society and the ways in which we see the world.
I often cite the Pew Internet and American Life Project for its ongoing tracking of trends related to the Internet and the ways in which we interact on the Internet. Pew Internet is marking the 25th anniversary of the Internet with a series of reports. The first report, published last month, was an overall look at the development of the Internet and its rapid adoption by society. It’s very interesting material and worth digging into.
Continue reading “Pew Internet Offers a Peak into Internet’s Future”
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”
More evidence was released this week suggesting that the days of sitting-at-a-desk, full-monitor web site experiences are waning.
The Pew Internet and American Life Project published its latest research that shows roughly 63% of American cell phone users access the internet with their cellphones. That translates to more than half of all American adults. And of those who access the internet via cell phones, more than a third say it is the primary way in which those cellphone owners access the internet.
Perhaps the next round of questions should ask why isn’t everyone accessing the internet through their cellphones? Continue reading “It’s Personal: The Smartphone’s Influence on Transportation Communications”
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”