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”

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Talking public transportation: Mobility Lab asks ‘Where are we headed?’

Mobility Lab is one of the more interesting groups advocating for transportation investment. Based in Arlington, Virginia, the group describes itself as “a leading U.S. voice of “transportation demand management” – moving people instead of cars – and works to create a shared national voice with clear calls to action from TDM agencies across the country.”  Continue reading “Talking public transportation: Mobility Lab asks ‘Where are we headed?’”

Research for Transportation Decision-making

Cover for Guide to Developing Marketing
courtesy: FHWA Highways for Life

Transportation agencies are constantly innovating to meet the needs of an aging system, a declining revenue stream and an evolving customer base. The FHWA Highways for Life program earlier this year published a document, “A Guide to Developing Marketing Research for Highway Innovations,” which is intended to help transportation agencies “understand the needs, wants, and values of their existing customers and potential customers and us that information to make better decisions.”

While I believe that most agencies already use some kind of research when deciding whether to pursue programmatic and operational innovations, the guide should prove a very useful resource for the transportation communications community.

Filled with anecdotes and case studies, the manual is a solid introduction to marketing research. It will explain things to consider when deciding on the types of research you might need, whether you will need to bring in a consultant and even some strengths and weaknesses for various research methods.

Whether you are a seasoned communication pro, or just getting started, the Highways for Life guide is worth checking out.

 

Measuring communication? Five tips to help start a performance measurement program

“How’s it going?”

Bump into a friend on the street and you might hear, “How’s it going?” After all, it’s a casual, friendly way of greeting someone.

But get that same question from your boss, project engineer, transportation secretary or state legislator and, the innocent question: “How’s it going?” becomes a challenge for many transportation communicators.

The simple fact is that we in our business spend very little time actually evaluating how we are doing at communicating about transportation. We pump out the news releases, tweet until our fingers are number, but can we really say that things are going well?

Continue reading “Measuring communication? Five tips to help start a performance measurement program”