From Country Songs to Flying Cows: ADOT’s Award-Winning Blog Tells the Stories

I was scrolling through my Twitter feed to other day and this item caught my eye.

“Watch an ADOT clip of an implosion of the 1949 Pinto Creek Bridge, west of Globe-Miami.”

”We’ll, sure I want to see that,” I thought.

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TransComm Announces State DOT Communications Awards Winners

A strategic campaign supporting connected vehicle technology in Utah and a broad-reaching integrated anti-litter campaign in North Carolina grabbed the two top awards in the 2021 annual TransComm Skills Awards that were announced in September during a virtual committee meeting.

TransComm, AASHTO’s Committee on Transportation Communications, sponsors the annual skills awards to facilitate the sharing of best practices and to recognize outstanding communications efforts.

A total of 17 states earned at least one award recognizing outstanding work in a range of communications skills, tactics and campaigns.

Utah DOT earned the Excel Award for best integrated campaign with consultant support for its “Automated Shuttle Pilot Pilot Outreach” effort. The campaign helped educate Utahan about the states first automated shuttle. But midway through the project a shuttle passenger was injured and Utah engaged its crisis communications response plan.

Oklahoma DOT earned the award for best public service announcement from TransComm for its 2021 “Work Zones Are In Bloom” video.

North Carolina earned the Excel Award for best campaign without a consultant for its #DontTrashNC anti-litter campaign. Little clean up along North Carolina highways suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic. The NCDOT communication team developed a robust initiative that raised awareness for the issue and reignited interest in the annual volunteer-based Spring Litter Sweep.

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Ohio DOT Sets the TikTok Pace

The Ohio Department of Transportation has long been a national leader in producing high-quality, informative customer-focused videos. Among its many programs is the award-winning weekly program, The Loop, featuring ODOT communications pros Erin McBride and Matt Bruning, which has garnered more than 64,000 YouTube views. The content is high quality, consistent and – I think I mentioned this – informative.

But ODOT’s communications team has discovered that TikTok provides a way to reach an entirely new and different audience with its video content that is far beyond the standard YouTube channel.

Thanks to intern AJ Overstreet, who was familiar with the TikTok platform, ODOT discovered that it could repurpose video it was already producing and, in turn, grow the engagement with their content.

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TikTok Is More Popular Than Facebook, Should DOTs Follow?

It’s nearly 2020 and social media has been a thing for more than a decade. So it should surprise no one that social media trends come and go. There was MySpace, Vine, Meerkat, Google Plus , Friendster and … so many more platforms that have faded after promising starts that it is hard to remember them all.

Picking which new platforms are worth the time to learn and develop is a serious question for communications professionals, including those at state DOTs. There are only so many hours in a day, and smart managers have to understand their abilities and anticipate trends worth pursuing and those to ignore.

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