District 3 specialists carry 511 message to media
Before the first major snow of the season touched the ground, District 3 communication specialists Reed Hollinshead and June Sparks hit the road, touting the benefits of the 511 Traveler Services system for Idaho motorists.
Their mission in the Treasure Valley was to implore local media to include the 511 logo and links to ITD’s 511 Web site.
Their persistence resulted in several news stories about the enhanced 511 system and its inclusion on all television news station Web sites as well as the two major talk radio stations and boisetraffic.com – the Web site many radio stations use for traffic information.
“In some cases, the media outlets responded right away,” said Sparks. “News talk radio station KIDO, for example, had the 511 logo and link at the top of its traffic page within an hour of speaking with the web manager. “
(Visit the Web site at www.kidoam.com.)
“Boisetraffic.com also responded quickly, as did the Idaho Press Tribune with a front-page story the day after our visit.”
“Some of the TV stations ran stories about 511 the day we visited them,” Hollinshead added. “I’ve also heard some of the meteorologists encouraging viewers to call 511 or go to their Web site to access 511.idaho.gov. It’s really gratifying to know the media in District 3 understand the importance of this vital service as we head into the winter months.”
Hollinshead and Sparks made the rounds to KBCI Channel 2 (CBS), KIVI Channel 6 (ABC), KTVB Channel 7 (NBC), KTRV Channel 12 (Fox), KIDO AM 580, KBOI AM 670, the Idaho Press Tribune, the Idaho Business Review, the Journal Broadcast Group and the Idaho Statesman.
Some of the Treasure Valley television stations already had the 511 link on their Web sites, but not the 511 logo. The goal of the visits was to convey to local media the benefit to viewers and listeners of using 511 Traveler Services to get information about highway and weather conditions before they travel.
ITD also initiated an aggressive statewide campaign to emphasize the safety benefits of the system. The campaign includes newspaper, television and radio advertising statewide, billboards along key highways and advertising on buses in the Treasure Valley.
Pauline Davis, a graphic artist in the Headquarters Environmental Section, created the new 511 B4 U GO logo, based on a suggestion from Millie Miles, Division of Highways.
“Our intent is to elevate awareness and use of the 511 system as a critical tool in planning winter driving,” explains communication specialist Mel Coulter, who coordinated the campaign. “Our paramount concern is that people arrive at their destination safely. We made significant enhancements to the system the past year – including expanded highway cameras and the addition of Mobile Web technology. Our 511 system is developing into one of the best in the country.”