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.

 

Social Media Webinar: A few thoughts on value of online, mobile communications

Every so often I am asked to share some thoughts on social media, transportation communications, public involvement and other topics that we tend to tackle here at Talking Transportation. Wednesday was one of those days and it was a delightful 90 minutes or so of hearing about powerful social media tools and ongoing transportation-focused social media research that is underway.

“Social Media and ITS,” sponsored by Thinking Highways included presentations by several experts in research and transportation issues including Larry Ehl, publisher of Transportation Issues Daily, and Andy Palisanamy, well-known among social media folks as @TranspoGooru. I won’t rehash too much here, but I encourage you to check out a recording of the webinar. You will need to register your name and email address, but I think the content is worth it.

Continue reading

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

Linkedin: Quite possibly the most overlooked social media tool

Social media as an accepted stand-alone public relations practice remains just a few years old, but for some reason I still find it easy to think that there is little new under the sun.

After all, if we break apart social media into their functional pieces the actual act of sharing information today is not much different from it was when the young PR industry was ruled by guys who walked newspaper newsrooms drumming up interest in their clients’ news. Continue reading