The novel approach to build an online campaign focused on a specific audience of younger adults who, according to research, are more likely to get behind the wheel after drinking or drugging.
“Far too many people still mix alcohol, drugs and driving. Young people, in particular, often don’t understand that impaired driving is a crime, and a serious one — and they also are less likely to buckle up,” said Acting Transportation Secretary Erica Borggren. “These same young people ages 21-34 no longer receive news through traditional means. We’re hopeful this new series will catch their attention and give them a reason to log on or check their mobile devices. When they do, they’ll be entertained — and most importantly, they’ll receive a life-saving message.”
I am fortunate to work collaboratively with transportation communicators from around the country. They are dedicated, smart, experienced and full of wisdom. So, recently in preparation for an upcoming meeting, I asked a few of my veteran colleagues to answer a couple of questions.
If you had 20 minutes to talk to about communicating safety with non-communications staffs, what items would you want to discuss?
What is the one thing you would want your co-workers to know about communicating safety?
An interesting study recently published in the journal Political Communication studies the level of civic engagement following the closure of daily newspapers in Seattle and Denver. The paper, Dead Newspapers and Citizens Civic Engagement, by Lee Shaker asserts that civic engagement in Seattle and Denver dropped from 2008 to 2009 after the Seattle PI and Rocky Mountain News closed their doors.
It is an interesting research effort that uses data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) conducted by the United States Census Bureau to analyze year over year participation in activities such as visiting a politician or attending a community organization meeting, such as a PTA or neighborhood watch group.
As we move toward the season of celebration, the calendar brings us to the point at which it is natural to take stock in the year and to anticipate the coming year.
The Talking Transportation blog is now a year old. During that time the blog posts have ranged far and wide across the communications spectrum, discussing messaging, tactics and tools in the context of the transportation industry. What you will not find in the blog posts is a political agenda or mode favorites (at least not intentionally). My desire is for this blog to be a place for transportation professionals to pick up insights and perhaps share their thoughts if they are moved to do so.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, let’s take a moment and recognize a few things for which we in the business of transportation communication should give thanks.
Technology – In the late 1990s, I was new to government public relations, having recently left my job as a newspaper reporter. Often, I traveled around the state of Arizona with my boss, the director of the Department of Agriculture. Few reporters had email. Fax machines were the quick way of delivering information. To get a news release out to media meant several hours of fax machine calls. I carried a three-ring binder that held all my reporter and industry contacts. It weighed about five pounds. I often phoned news rooms with updates because it was faster to do that than actually send a news release.
I was running with a friend the other day and we were talking transportation. I do that a lot.
Run and talk transportation.
But this time, my friend and I were specifically discussing the unique nature of being a communications professional in an engineering world. Some times, the engineers just do not understand what we do. They, generally speaking, do not always value what communications professionals offer in a transportation organization.
And, in the midst of the conversation in which was trying to describe living with such challenges, I came to a realization.
It’s all about the data.
Let me explain. And, if you are an engineer, please just follow my logic here. This is NOT an engineer bashing column.