ITD to sponsor annual public information conference

Public information officers representing transportation departments throughout the country will converge in Boise next week for their annual conference.

The National Transportation Public Affairs Workshop (NTPAW) opens with registration and a reception Wednesday and shifts into high gear for three days of formal presentations, workshops and roundtable discussions, beginning Thursday.

NTPAW is a subcommittee of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), which represents transportation departments in all 50 states. The annual workshop returns to Idaho for the first time since 1992. The opening session is planned for Thursday at 8 a.m. at the Grove Hotel in downtown Boise.

Paula Hammond, chair of the AASHTO subcommittee and director of the Washington State Department of Transportation, will give opening remarks. The opening session also will feature reports from nearly 30 states participating in this year’s event.

Olympic cycling gold medalist Kristin Armstrong is scheduled to speak at Thursday’s luncheon. Afternoon sessions include presentations about planning for annual work zone safety campaigns, new applications for mobile devices, using animations to keep public informed of construction projects, effective public participation strategies, Utah’s use of a new public outreach planner and developing a campaign for coordinating high-speed and intercity passenger rail communications.

Bob Welch, an author and columnist for the Eugene (Oregon) Register-Guard will give a presentation Friday, following with a writing workshop. Mark Dunham, executive director of the Idaho Associated General Contractors, is scheduled to talk about making effective presentations to policymakers.

Saturday’s agenda includes a session on using social media to reach audiences and developing a strategy to mix emerging technologies with conventional methods. Jim Ylisela, of Duff Media Partners in Chicago, will speak at both Saturday sessions. The final day also includes a NTPAW business meeting, six other breakout sessions and a closing awards banquet.

Nearly 100 people are expected for the workshop. Staff from ITD’s Communications Office have spent the past year planning the event. The 2011 workshop will be in Des Moines, Iowa.

Published 9-10-2010