Transportation and communications – two separate and distinct tracks that converge at a very important intersection.
Last month, I had the chance to attend the annual meetings of the Mid America Association of State Transportation Officials (MAASTO) and the Southeastern Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (SASHTO).
You may ask why I wanted to talk communications at transportation conferences – it’s the question I asked of a room full of engineers. Communications is not only a key part of any transportation project, but when done successfully, communications can be an asset that elevates a project and paves the way for success.
Communications includes all sorts of things, from public outreach well before a project begins to working with the media to share important information, milestones and progress. From event planning to tweeting, communications is about informing and engaging the public.
Communications means developing relationships and establishing a trusted voice for your project.
Why does it matter? Clear, consistent and compelling stories will help package and deliver key messages. Those messages build project understanding and highlight successes.
People care about transportation projects because they affect them. They impact how they’re going to work that day and how long it’s going to take to get home. In the end, the hope is that these projects will grow communities and improve lives.
The two meetings provided the perfect backdrop to share the story of the importance of communications in transportation projects. They also provided the opportunity to learn, grow and network.
While I enjoyed learning more about Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), tolling reciprocity, autonomous vehicles and a host of other issues, it was a tremendous opportunity to talk about communications and transportation. The two meet at a vital intersection you can’t afford to bypass.
Large or small, successful communications will build a strong foundation for any project.
–Mindy Peterson, C2 Senior Strategist