Idaho Scenic Byways Web site wins national award
National Transportation Public Affairs Workshop
Idaho’s 27 scenic byways tell a story of the varied history, terrain and beauty of the intermountain northwest in Idaho. The transportation department and its Scenic Byways program needed an equally impressive way to promote the byways. Their solution, the department’s graphically enhanced Web site (www.idahobyways.gov ), gained national recognition recently, capturing first place at the National Transportation Public Affairs Workshop in Nashville.
The Idaho Scenic Byways site was recognized as the best Web site produced with a consultant in the annual skills contest. The Web site, activated on June 25, 2007, lists byways by three distinct regions, includes information about lengths, locations and best times of the year to travel them, links to other area attractions and contact information.
The entry form, submitted by the ITD Office of Communications, emphasized “The site is designed to promote Idaho by engaging people with Idaho's history and outdoor attractions. It is created with interaction in mind.
“This new site offers Idaho and out-of-state travelers useful information in a comprehensive way and better helps them make their travel decisions. The site showcases the beauty of Idaho's scenic byways and allows Idaho Tourism another avenue through which to promote the state. The site lets travelers order a free scenic byway guide and links to a national byways Web site, the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation and the Idaho RV & Campground Association, among others.”
In its first year, the site became one of the most visited links on the ITD Web site, just behind the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and Idaho’s 511 Traveler Services site. The Scenic Byways site has garnered attention in Idaho, winning an Idaho Press Club first place award last spring.
The NTPAW skills contest is conducted annually by the AASHTO Subcommittee on Public Affairs as a way of recognizing the work of member states’ public relations staffs and to facilitate an exchange of ideas. The contest is considered the premier competition nationally in the transportation industry and its awards have become a standard of public relations excellence among state departments of transportation.
District 4 Communications Specialist Nathan Jerke accepted the award on behalf of the department.
Also at the national workshop, Mel Coulter was selected for a two-year appointment as NTPAW’s representative from the Western Association of State and Highway Transportation Officials (WASHTO). He concluded a two-year term as NTPAW’s site selection committee chairman and helped select workshop sites in Tacoma, Wash., Nashville and New Orleans (2009).