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Communication Matters Communicating the Value of Transportation Research Guidebook NCHRP REPORT 610 National Cooperative Highway Research Program TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

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Transportation Research Board 2009 Executive Committee (Membership as of February 2009) Officers CHAIR: Adib K. Kanafani, Cahill Professor of Civil Engineering, Linda S. Watson, CEO, LYNXCentral Florida Regional University of California, Berkeley Transportation Authority, Orlando VICE CHAIR: Michael R. Morris, Director of Transportation, North Steve Williams, Chairman and CEO, Maverick Transportation, Inc., Central Texas Council of Governments, Arlington Little Rock, AR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Robert E. Skinner, Jr., Transportation Research Board Ex Officio Members Thad Allen (Adm., U.S. Coast Guard), Commandant, U.S. Coast Members Guard, Washington, DC J. Barry Barker, Executive Director, Transit Authority of River City, Rebecca M. Brewster, President and COO, American Louisville, KY Transportation Research Institute, Smyrna, GA Allen D. Biehler, Secretary, Pennsylvania DOT, Harrisburg George Bugliarello, President Emeritus and University Professor, Polytechnic Institute of New York University, Brooklyn; Foreign Larry L. Brown, Sr., Executive Director, Mississippi DOT, Jackson Secretary, National Academy of Engineering, Washington, DC Deborah H. Butler, Executive Vice President, Planning, and CIO, James E. Caponiti, Acting Deputy Administrator, Maritime Norfolk Southern Corporation, Norfolk, VA Administration, U.S.DOT William A.V. Clark, Professor, Department of Geography, University Cynthia Douglass, Acting Deputy Administrator, Pipeline and of California, Los Angeles Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, U.S.DOT David S. Ekern, Commissioner, Virginia DOT, Richmond LeRoy Gishi, Chief, Division of Transportation, Bureau of Indian Nicholas J. Garber, Henry L. Kinnier Professor, Department of Civil Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville Edward R. Hamberger, President and CEO, Association of Jeffrey W. Hamiel, Executive Director, Metropolitan Airports American Railroads, Washington, DC Commission, Minneapolis, MN John C. Horsley, Executive Director, American Association of State Edward A. (Ned) Helme, President, Center for Clean Air Policy, Highway and Transportation Officials, Washington, DC Washington, DC Rose A. McMurry, Acting Deputy Administrator, Federal Motor Will Kempton, Director, California DOT, Sacramento Carrier Safety Administration, U.S.DOT Susan Martinovich, Director, Nevada DOT, Carson City Ronald Medford, Acting Deputy Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S.DOT Debra L. Miller, Secretary, Kansas DOT, Topeka William W. Millar, President, American Public Transportation Neil J. Pedersen, Administrator, Maryland State Highway Association, Washington, DC Administration, Baltimore Lynne A. Osmus, Acting Administrator, Federal Aviation Pete K. Rahn, Director, Missouri DOT, Jefferson City Administration, U.S.DOT Sandra Rosenbloom, Professor of Planning, University of Arizona, Jeffrey F. Paniati, Acting Deputy Administrator and Executive Tucson Director, Federal Highway Administration, U.S.DOT Tracy L. Rosser, Vice President, Corporate Traffic, Wal-Mart Stores, Steven K. Smith, Acting Deputy Administrator, Research and Inc., Bentonville, AR Innovative Technology Administration, U.S.DOT Rosa Clausell Rountree, Consultant, Tyrone, GA Jo Strang, Acting Deputy Administrator, Federal Railroad Steve T. Scalzo, Chief Operating Officer, Marine Resources Group, Administration, U.S.DOT Seattle, WA Robert L. Van Antwerp (Lt. Gen., U.S. Army), Chief of Engineers Henry G. (Gerry) Schwartz, Jr., Chairman (retired), Jacobs/ and Commanding General, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sverdrup Civil, Inc., St. Louis, MO Washington, DC C. Michael Walton, Ernest H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Matthew Welbes, Executive Director and Acting Deputy Engineering, University of Texas, Austin Administrator, Federal Transit Administration, U.S.DOT

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Communication Matters Communicating the Value of Transportation Research Guidebook NCHRP REPORT 610 National Cooperative Highway Research Program Consultants Johanna P. Zmud, NuStats LLC Julie L. Paasche, NuStats LLC Mia Zmud, NuStats LLC Timothy J. Lomax, Texas Transportation Institute Joseph Schofer, Northwestern University Judy Meyer, Public Information Associates Subject Areas Planning and Administration Transportation Research Board Washington, D.C. www.trb.org 2009

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NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY NCHRP REPORT 610 RESEARCH PROGRAM Project 20-78 Systematic, well-designed research provides the most effective ISSN 0077-5614 approach to the solution of many problems facing highway administrators and engineers. Often, highway problems are of local ISBN: 978-0-309-11764-7 interest and can best be studied by highway departments individually Library of Congress Control Number 2008911002 or in cooperation with their state universities and others. However, the 2009 Transportation Research Board accelerating growth of highway transportation develops increasingly complex problems of wide interest to highway authorities. These problems are best studied through a coordinated program of COPYRIGHT PERMISSION cooperative research. Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for In recognition of these needs, the highway administrators of the obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. initiated in 1962 an objective national highway research program Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in employing modern scientific techniques. This program is supported this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with on a continuing basis by funds from participating member states of the understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, the Association and it receives the full cooperation and support of FAA, FHWA, FMCSA, FTA, or Transit Development Corporation endorsement of the Federal Highway Administration, United States Department of a particular product, method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing Transportation. the material in this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies was material. For other uses of the material, request permission from CRP. requested by the Association to administer the research program because of the Board's recognized objectivity and understanding of modern research practices. The Board is uniquely suited for this NOTICE purpose as it maintains an extensive committee structure from which The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the National Cooperative authorities on any highway transportation subject may be drawn; it Highway Research Program conducted by the Transportation Research Board possesses avenues of communications and cooperation with federal, with the approval of the Governing Board of the National Research Council. Such state and local governmental agencies, universities, and industry; approval reflects the Governing Board's judgment that the program concerned is its relationship to the National Research Council is an insurance of national importance and appropriate with respect to both the purposes and of objectivity; it maintains a full-time research correlation staff of resources of the National Research Council. specialists in highway transportation matters to bring the findings of The members of the technical committee selected to monitor this project and research directly to those who are in a position to use them. to review this report were chosen for recognized scholarly competence and with due consideration for the balance of disciplines appropriate to the project. The The program is developed on the basis of research needs identified opinions and conclusions expressed or implied are those of the research agency by chief administrators of the highway and transportation departments that performed the research, and, while they have been accepted as appropriate and by committees of AASHTO. Each year, specific areas of research by the technical committee, they are not necessarily those of the Transportation needs to be included in the program are proposed to the National Research Board, the National Research Council, the American Association of State Research Council and the Board by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, or the Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Highway and Transportation Officials. Research projects to fulfill these Department of Transportation. needs are defined by the Board, and qualified research agencies are Each report is reviewed and accepted for publication by the technical committee selected from those that have submitted proposals. Administration and according to procedures established and monitored by the Transportation surveillance of research contracts are the responsibilities of the National Research Board Executive Committee and the Governing Board of the National Research Council and the Transportation Research Board. Research Council. The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, the National The needs for highway research are many, and the National Research Council, the Federal Highway Administration, the American Association of Cooperative Highway Research Program can make significant State Highway and Transportation Officials, and the individual states participating contributions to the solution of highway transportation problems of in the National Cooperative Highway Research Program do not endorse products mutual concern to many responsible groups. The program, however, is or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturers' names appear herein solely because intended to complement rather than to substitute for or duplicate other they are considered essential to the object of this report. highway research programs. Published reports of the NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM are available from: Transportation Research Board Business Office 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 and can be ordered through the Internet at: http://www.national-academies.org/trb/bookstore Printed in the United States of America

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Project Panel for Communicating the Value of Research Field of Special Projects (20-78) Jerome M. Lutin, New Jersey Institute of Technology (Chair) Calvin Roberts, Michigan DOT, Newark, New Jersey Lansing, Michigan Wesley S.C. Lum, California DOT, Beverly Sauer, Georgetown University, Sacramento, California Washington, DC Teresa M. Adams, Wisconsin Transportation Center, Madison, Jonathan Upchurch, National Park Foundation, Wisconsin Grand Canyon, Arizona Steve Dellenback, Southwest Research Institute, Marci Kenney, FHWA (retired) San Antonio, Texas Russell Houston, TRB Liaison Timothy A. Klein, Research and Innovative Technology Joseph Gregory, FHWA Liaison Administration, Washington, DC G.P. Jayaprakash, TRB Liaison Ann M. Overton, Virginia DOT, Charlottesville, Virginia Cooperative Research Programs Staff for NCHRP Report 610 Christopher W. Jenks, Director, Cooperative Research Programs Crawford F. Jencks, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research Programs B. Ray Derr, Senior Program Officer Eileen P. Delaney, Director of Publications Natalie Barnes, Editor

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Guidebook 1 Introduction Introduction The need for transportation research can be a tough sell to policy makers and the public. Many in the transportation community regard Successfully conveying the value of research the lack of awareness and knowledge of the value can contribute to ongoing future support. of such research as a major obstacle to securing adequate funding for further advances in safety, mobility, and infrastructure. Conduct Research Most people conceptually grasp the value of research and its results, but this awareness does not always lead to support for innovations Convey or implementation of new technologies-- Value particularly those that take years to develop. Today's climate of tough decision-making, tight Research $upport budget cycles, and limited funding demands immediate results. The approval process for new or continuing research projects requires that we clearly communicate how these innovations will be applied and how they will affect Americans' lives now and in the future. If you are reading this guidebook, you likely are a transportation researcher, research manager, or someone who uses research findings to make decisions and get results. You recognize the vital role research plays in our national transportation system. Your work provides solutions so we can reduce congestion, build better and safer roads for drivers and pedestrians, and increase the service life of bridges. By informing policies and bringing new technologies to the forefront, such "The time is long past when the value research creates extraordinary benefits for society, of the research will simply sell itself increasing both our productivity and standard of with no additional effort." living. Properly packaging a research report alone will not ensure implementation or further research funding for follow-up studies. Effectively communicating both the results and return on investment of a single project or an entire program remains a major challenge for transportation research organizations at all levels. The time is long past when the value of the research will simply sell itself with no additional effort.

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Guidebook 2 Communicating the Value of Transportation Research Why You Want to Read This Guidebook Among the resources developed under the National Cooperative Highway Research Program's (NCHRP) Project 20-78, NCHRP Project 20-78, "Communicating "Communicating the Value of Research," this the Value of Research," consists of three guidebook will advise transportation researchers, planners, managers, and others how to overcome interconnected information materials: communication challenges. Some still believe an overview, this guidebook, and a research is best communicated at the end of a workshop. project and that communication is a costly and complicated venture. The information in this guidebook will show you how incorporating a basic communication strategy into your research process can make that process easier, and that by following this practical advice, you can increase the likelihood of your research accomplishing your desired goal. Successful communication of research results is not merely a matter of modifying the skill sets of research directors and their scientists. Transportation engineers and researchers will not become trained professional communicators after reading this guidebook. Rather, it offers a blueprint for integrating communication throughout the research process and introduces "The information in this new ways of thinking about it. guidebook will show you how adopting a principle of continual This guidebook stresses the importance of adopting a principle of continual communications throughout communications throughout the research the research process can increase process. This means integrating communication at the beginning of your research planning and the likelihood of your research involving others in each step. Incorporating accomplishing your desired goal." communication produces important assets that complement the research results: building public trust, strengthening credibility, and inspiring positive action.

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Guidebook 3 Introduction How the Guidebook Is Organized Extensive research and examination of communication best practices, both within and outside of the transportation community, formed the basis of this guidebook. From this work, we gleaned practical tips, a model process, case studies, and examples of good communication methods that all transportation researchers can use. This guide will explain the process so you can master how to communicate when it really matters. The book is organized into the following four chapters and two appendices: Chapter 1: Signs of Good Communication Chapter 4: Putting It All Together: Practices presents the seven signs of good Communicating to Specific Audiences communication practices. These were drawn from provides examples of how to communicate with our examination of the best practices both inside audiences that matter to transportation researchers: and outside of the transportation community. legislative leaders and their staff, research peers, transportation policy and program officials, the Chapter 2: The Communication Process news media, and the public. examines why communication matters and explores the process for planning, talking, writing, Appendix 1: Transportation Case Studies and creating. This is what most people have in mind contains seven transportation case studies that when they think about communication. illustrate these good communication practices. They were compiled during the research we conducted in Chapter 3: Planning & Evaluating creating this guidebook. Your Research Communication looks at two important elements of the communication Appendix 2: Non-Transportation Best Practices process--planning and evaluating your presents brief summaries of four non-transportation communication efforts. organizations whose approach to communicating the value of their research illustrates good practice. Several features in this guidebook will make using it more efficient. Boxes on the sides or bottom of the page provide practical advice, templates, and case-study examples. Look for the following: Summarizes key points drawn from the text discussion. Highlights a case-study application of the text discussion--drawn from one of seven transportation case studies included in Appendix 1. Provides examples or templates, such as how to write a one-page project description.

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Guidebook 5 Signs of Good Communication Practices 1 Chapter Signs of Good Communication Practices Our research examined successful transportation research projects and programs to glean the best practices in communicating the value of research. We identified seven common attributes of effective communication practices. This chapter provides these seven signs of good communication practices and how they can affect the worth-perception and value-exchange process. What Are the Signs of Good Communication Practices? Before reviewing the signs of good practice, it is research process and subsequently builds useful to define what makes a communication relationships that last throughout and beyond effort successful. a particular project. Successful communication efforts link researchers and research results with their This is simply good public relations. If we look at intended audience by strengthening the the definition of public relations in the acclaimed information flow throughout the research textbook Effective Public Relations, (Cutlip et al. process. 1999), we see that public relations is explained as a discipline that encompasses much more The key words in the above definition are than publicity. Specifically, it is "the management "throughout the research process." function that establishes and maintains mutually The communication process is continual, not beneficial relationships between an organization just a one-time effort when the research has and the publics on whom its success or failure concluded. That means making it a part of the depends." In other words, it is continual, two-way research process, at the onset of a project when communication (VandeVrede 2007). the planning begins. According to NCHRP Synthesis 280, one of the keys Signs of Good Communication Practices to building and maintaining a robust research program is "Market Boldly" during every stage of the research process (Dean and Harder 1999). Involve communication professionals. This applies in soliciting problems, in anticipating Understand the audience. research needs, in justifying the time and budget required for persuading others to test and deploy Demonstrate a tangible benefit. the product, and in selling the overall need for Recognize that timing is relevant. research. Build coalitions. Build two-way relationships. Effective communication about research requires advance planning--knowing your audience and Tailor packaging. your goals for reaching out to that audience. It also brings a network of researchers, decision makers, and other stakeholders into the

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Guidebook 49 Transportation Case Studies 3 Study California Seismic Bridge Retrofit Case Program Value to Sell: The life safety benefits expected from incremental research on seismic retrofit methods. Context Content Since the 1970s, four major earthquakes have Clear and concise messaging of technical struck California and, among other effects, information to nontechnical decision makers, demonstrated the serious impacts of earthquakes media, and the public was carried out in visual on transportation infrastructure. Researchers used demonstrations of test results. Caltrans used simple information obtained from each quake for further graphics that highlighted relationships between the investigations, and for the testing and deployment data and the factors considered by decision makers. of materials and engineering modifications to To help nontechnical readers comprehend technical bridges throughout the state. The goal of the writing, most papers were only three to four pages research was to minimize the structural impacts and and focused on personalizing the findings as much destruction caused by earthquakes and to maintain as possible, as well as providing short illustrations or the integrity of bridges in vulnerable areas. graphs with relevant and consistent scales. Strategy Channel and Style California Department of Transportation's (Caltrans) Personal interactions were the most popular Seismic Bridge Retrofit Program framed the channel used by Caltrans. The partnerships created issue around the serious threat of earthquakes among researchers, sponsors, and others allowed for and shared concern with officials and the public a diverse group of experts to collaborate in solving about transportation infrastructure stability and problems. Interactions among researchers through safety. To ensure rapid implementation of its open meetings provided the teams with avenues for recommendations, the program quickly summarized peer review of papers and test results. Investment results from tests. In most cases, the program advisors were used to inform decisions on how identified a better design of a particular element of funding should be allocated. The information used existing infrastructure, rather than advocating an in these decisions was presented in short and entirely new structure. In addition, partnerships and concise printed reports that focused on presenting coalitions were built among researchers, engineers, technical information in a comprehensive format. sponsors, legislators, state agencies, and utility Broadcast and computer-based communication companies to help foster a team environment that followed a similar format, with graphic displays bred efficiency and improved research results. being used to illustrate data in the form of video and The collaborations among research peers allowed slides. This format helped nontechnical audiences for quality control--frequent review of papers, understand the technical information. quarterly meetings--and better implementation of results. Furthermore, Caltrans allowed management to use streamlined processes, resulting in improved project flexibility and a more responsive and nimble program that was able to take advantage of research opportunities as they arose.

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Guidebook 50 Communicating the Value of Transportation Research 4 Study Virginia Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Case Bridge Deck Value to Sell: The value and performance of an innovative lightweight deck on a historic bridge, as well as the value of a state and federal partnership. Context the most IBRC funding of any state over a five-year period. In the case of the Hawthorne Street bridge, The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) classifies the preservation of a historic landmark also made many U.S. bridges as "structurally deficient" or communication about this project relevant and "functionally obsolete," one of the many reasons important to the public. the nation's aging transportation infrastructure desperately needs more funding. FHWA awarded Content the Virginia Transportation Research Council (VTRC) funding from its Innovative Bridge Research and VTRC's proposal to FHWA focused on clearly Construction (IBRC) program to employ a new presenting its prior research findings and field test lightweight fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) deck in the results as a basis for using the FRP material for a bridge restoration of a deteriorating historic bridge. (FHWA's deck. VTRC wanted to show how VDOT could use FRP IBRC program evolved into the Innovative Bridge and as a lightweight bridge deck in the rehabilitation of Research Deployment program, or IBRD, with the the Hawthorne Street bridge and how it could deploy authorization of SAFETEA-LU.) VTRC is the research the material in similar future cases. The positive and division of the Virginia Department of Transportation informative external communications VTRC and VDOT (VDOT). It led VDOT's analysis and implementation provided after completing the project also helped the of the FRP technology used in the deck replacement public and policy makers understand the multifaceted during the restoration of the Hawthorne Street research and materials involved in the project. bridge in Covington, VA. Under the auspices of the Virginia Cooperative Center for Bridge Engineering, Channel and Style a partnership of VTRC and Virginia Tech, these two Throughout the planning and rehabilitation of the entities worked with the innovative materials in the Hawthorne Street bridge, VDOT and VTRC used both laboratory and on test sites for several years before computer-based and personal-contact channels of installing this deck. The result: the Hawthorne Street communication. A systematic explanation of previous bridge, built in the late 19th century, reopened after a research findings, the technology, and its benefits one-year closure with a new and innovative deck that proved effective in communicating with FHWA for the increased the structure's load capacity nearly threefold, IBRC funding. This communication style also brought from seven to 20 tons. focus to the positive research. Personal contact with the FHWA representatives paved the way for them to Strategy help guide the proposal through the IBRC evaluation Selecting a relevant project on which to install an FRP process. It also provided important feedback for bridge deck was an important first step toward gaining building stronger proposals in the future. Frequent funding for the project. VTRC and VDOT Structure and face-to-face meetings between VTRC's research team Bridge personnel identified the Hawthorne Street and VDOT's construction team helped both groups bridge as the prime candidate because use of FRP for work together and keep the project on track. VDOT's the deck would contribute to preserving the bridge's regional office gained further momentum for the overall historic iron thru-truss structure, while also project through media relations and news releases to increasing its load capacity. When selecting IBRC increase public awareness. A ribbon-cutting ceremony projects, VTRC and VDOT carefully match mature celebrating the bridge's reopening drew local officials innovative technologies with structures suitable for and Virginia legislators as well as townspeople. This application. Building on VTRC's favorable reputation exposure helped to communicate the value of federal as an independent and objective research center, this research funding for local transportation projects. attention to detail has resulted in Virginia receiving

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Guidebook 51 Transportation Case Studies 5 Study Missouri Statewide Installation of Case Median Cable Barriers Value to Sell: A statewide solution to prevent a specific crash type. Context Content The state of Missouri began to focus on improving Results from test sites were summarized in reports traffic safety by reducing cross-median fatalities that were used to promote the program's early after research using the state's database on crash success. The earliest report on the original median sites and crash types concluded that cross-median guard cable located on I-44 indicated the cable had crashes were a major source of traffic fatalities virtually eliminated cross-median fatalities. Other and severe injuries on Missouri roadways. Cross- reports included information on improvements median crashes typically involve head-on collisions, being made to installation design to increase the high speeds, and multiple fatalities. Using median effectiveness of the cable on hills and turns. New cable barriers is a countermeasure to cross- installations were equally promoted to increase median crashes that is both effective and relatively awareness, bringing attention to its eventual inexpensive. These factors eventually resulted in success. When presenting technical content to a a unique situation where the state focused not on nontechnical audience, MoDOT found the use of fatal crash locations (which are random), but on graphs and visual explanations helpful. specific crash types (which are not random), and implemented a statewide solution. Channel and Style Despite the multiple years that it took to deploy Strategy median guard cable as the statewide solution to With a limited budget, the Missouri Department cross-median crashes, many traffic safety engineers of Transportation (MoDOT) installed test sites in and project managers consistently championed locations with a historically high frequency of cross- the program. This advocacy sustained momentum median crash sites. The test methods involved not for the idea of improved safety and saved lives only median guard cable, but also shoulder rumble with a proven and cost-effective countermeasure strips and guardrail improvements. Throughout to a specific crash type. In this MoDOT case, it was the late 1990s, after successful results with the test important for advocates of the program both to sites, additional mileage of median guard cable speak with decision makers and to be persistent in was placed along the interstates. The increased sending emails and letters to keep the issue visible. visibility of test sites to the public and policy makers Increased visibility was also supported through served as references to the project's success and broadcast channels or media sources, such as town provided the advocates of median guard cable the hall meetings and news releases. After the public ammunition they needed when promoting its use became aware of the success of median guard cable, on a statewide level. Persistent advocacy played a the costs of implementing a statewide solution were key role in keeping the topic fresh in the minds of easier to justify. Actively pursing other channels decision makers. of communication, such as webinars and web conferences, helped to further increase awareness of the program.

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Guidebook 52 Communicating the Value of Transportation Research 6 Study Oregon Mileage Fee Concept and Case Road User Fee Pilot Program Value to Sell: A more equitable and efficient way to collect road user fees that is acceptable to the public. Context Content In 2001, after an Oregon legislature hearing on the The public outreach effort was meant to ensure the future of fuel-efficient vehicles, there was concern public was educated on why Oregon was pursuing that the fuel tax would become a declining revenue an alternative to the gas tax for financing the road source for Oregon's road systems. As a result, the systems. Through open meetings with the task force, 2001 Legislative Assembly addressed the long- focus groups, presentations to stakeholders and term viability of Oregon's road finance through transportation professionals, and so on, ODOT was the formation of a 12-member Road User Fee Task able to educate the public and gain its support. The Force. The task force was charged with designing a task force approached this public education effort revenue-collection strategy that could effectively with an understanding that the motoring public will replace the fuel tax as a long-term, stable source of not respond positively to change quickly and will funding for maintaining and improving Oregon's need time to accept the nature of the problem and road system. become comfortable with viable solutions. The task force also made efforts to teach its allies about the Strategy program's fundamentals so they too could become The task force identified a mileage or user fee advocates. program as a favorable alternative to the gas tax, but the challenge was to help the public understand Channel and Style the problem of limited transportation funding so ODOT posted all process documents and reported the fee program could be approved. The Oregon all decisions on its interactive website. The task Department of Transportation (ODOT) used public force's reliance on web over paper documents outreach activities to educate the public on the allowed for immediate and efficient communication innovative and experimental issues surrounding with the public, greater transparency, and the ability the mileage/user fee program. Additionally, ODOT to hear opposing views. This information helped and the task force made an effort to be accessible to create better supporting arguments and helped to the media, whose reports were used to further ODOT understand weaknesses in its approach. educate the public and gain support and visibility Making numerous personal contacts was also on both state and national levels. The program's effective in gaining acceptance for the program. transparency provided the landscape for effective The task force director served as a key spokesperson communication among interested parties. and champion, with his tireless presentations and advocacy of the program. The open meetings and geographically diverse public hearings allowed everyone the opportunity to learn and express their opinions about the program. If attending a meeting in person was not an option, the public could become educated through reports by the media, news articles, and radio interviews.

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Guidebook 53 Transportation Case Studies 7 Study National Cooperative Freight Case Research Program Value to Sell: The benefits derived from a national freight research program. Context Content The deregulation of the freight industry in 1980 led Rather than citing specific research while to reduced focus on research due to a lack of public advocating for the NCFRP, the FSC chose a more interest and the termination of data collection general approach focusing on the importance of the programs. As a result, freight research issues were field, its problems, and its connection to the national not accounted for when decisions were made about economy. Consistent messaging that highlighted public funding for transportation research. In recent broad issues of national interest was key. The NCFRP years, the globalization of the industry and the was patterned to operate similarly to the successful increased demands on the movement of goods has National Cooperative Highway Research Program heightened the public's interest in freight issues. In and Transit Cooperative Research Program, which response, the National Cooperative Freight Research are respected because of the responsiveness of their Program (NCFRP) was created as the federally research agendas toward their constituencies. These sponsored freight research program in the most programs provided a proven model for a successful recent surface transportation authorization act, the implementation strategy and the participation of an Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Oversight Committee that represented the private Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). and pubic sectors. Strategy Channel and Style The Freight Stakeholders Coalition (FSC) began to The American Association of State Highway and coordinate efforts to bring national attention to Transportation Officials (AASHTO), in a partnership freight issues and to advocate for funding on freight with the FSC, became the primary advocate for the research and public safety. Aided by the credibility NCFRP. The AASHTO's commitment of resources of its members and support from industry, state, to the program, along with its respected historical and local governments, the FSC became the major record, helped to escort the program through factor in the NCFRP's inclusion in SAFETEA-LU. the passage of the bill. Both AASHTO's ability Equally influential was the FSC's ability to build to act as a lead advocate, along with the FSC's relationships with a diverse audience. By providing efforts to build relationships with Congress as an the groundwork for long-term interactions, the FSC advocate for the NCFRP, provided the credibility was able to continually gain momentum with both and exposure needed to gain momentum for the the private and the public sectors. NCFRP's inclusion in SAFETEA-LU. Persistent and consistent collaboration among advocacy groups, government officials, and key stakeholders made personal contact the most important channel of communication for this research initiative.

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Guidebook 55 Non-Transportation Best Practices 2 Appendix Non-Transportation Best Practices These are condensed from the full best practices review presented in the final report for NCHRP Project 20-78, "Communicating the Value of Research." Best Practice 1: St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Best Practice 2: Susan G. Komen for the Cure Best Practice 3: Consultative Group on International Agriculture Resources Best Practice 4: Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies

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Guidebook 56 Communicating the Value of Transportation Research 1 Practice St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Best Context donors, and the general public. The mission of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Communication Approach is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research Communication at St. Jude is centralized, but and treatment. Most importantly, St. Jude's goal compartmentalized. All communication initiates is to increase the survival rate of children suffering from St. Jude's main campus in Memphis, from these diseases. St. Jude welcomes referrals Tennessee; however, the hospital, fundraising from treating physicians of children and adolescents arm, and physician referral units all have their with newly diagnosed untreated or suspected own communication specialists who generate cancer; HIV infections; or certain hematologic, communication for their own unit. Each immunologic, or genetic diseases. Since the communication unit incorporates information to hospital is a research center, every child accepted is demonstrate the value of St. Jude research in nearly enrolled in a specific study or "protocol." Information every communication product created. gathered from these studies is used in developing Outcomes better treatments. The value of research is communicated in terms of Research efforts are directed toward understanding lives saved and the number of new and improved the molecular, genetic, and chemical bases of treatments through simple and easy-to-digest facts catastrophic diseases in children, identifying cures and updates. St. Jude facilitates frequent updates for such diseases, and promoting their prevention. focusing on the research results and their direct Research is focused specifically on cancers, acquired impact on patients. and inherited immunodeficiencies, infectious diseases, and genetic disorders. The current basic and clinical research at St. Jude includes work in gene therapy, bone marrow transplant, chemotherapy, and many more. Leaders of St. Jude and The American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities (ALSAC), the fundraising arm of the St. Jude organization, are crucial players in communicating the research conducted at St. Jude. The hospital and ALSAC also have staff dedicated to communicating within different areas of the organization through publications produced by scientific editors. The development of partnerships with medical institutions and fund- raising organizations to recruit support for key programs is paramount. (St. Jude has a specialist for handling each type of media, fundraising, and physician referral communication). Key audiences include patients--and their parents--physicians,

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Guidebook 57 Non-Transportation Best Practices 2 Practice Susan G. Komen for the Cure Best Context the research is eventually going to benefit the Komen for the Cure is the world's largest grassroots patient." To address this challenge, Komen offers network of breast cancer survivors and activists consumer-friendly breast health and breast cancer working to save lives, empower people, ensure information congruent with eighth- to tenth-grade quality care for all, and energize science to find the reading levels. The organization produces reader- cures. Since 1982, Komen for the Cure has invested friendly research/researcher profile stories for use in nearly $1 billion in efforts to fulfill its promises, newsletters and on Komen's website. making it the largest source of nonprofit funds Komen has worked over the years to make sure that dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the reporters and editors know that when they come world by seeking breakthroughs in cancer diagnosis to Komen, they will receive reliable information and treatment. More than 100,000 volunteers, and access to some of the world's leading breast the key actors in Komen's communication, make cancer researchers and clinicians if they want to go up a network of local affiliates. These volunteers in depth on a particular subject or they need more keep the issue of finding a cure for breast cancer context. in the public eye. Some volunteers are involved in Komen's Champion for the Cure, which is a subunit Komen also added a chief scientific advisor, Dr. of Komen that works to educate elected officials and Eric P. Winer, an internationally known oncologist Congress about breast cancer research and issues. and educator from Harvard, to head its Scientific Advisory Board, composed of leading breast cancer Communication Approach researchers and clinicians. This board offers expert Komen relies on its grassroots advocacy network comment and perspective on breaking news in to disseminate information to all audiences the breast cancer arena. Dr. Winer and the board with whom it communicates. This is particularly make sure that Komen issues news and updates on true for communication with media, the public, research that are reliable and evidence based. and policy makers on a local affiliate level. The headquarters office of Komen for the Cure employs Outcomes communication specialists who create materials and Komen has several measures for determining make them available to local affiliates. The single, the success of its communication, including most important message the Komen for the Cure communication about research and its value. organization works to broadcast about the research Indicators of successful communication regarding it funds or the research it supports is that the research include the numbers and types of media research saves lives. calls it receives, the number of hits Komen receives on a particular story on its website regarding grants Challenges and the research, the number of inquiries it receives The most daunting challenge it has faced with about its research efforts, and the number and communicating about research and its value is caliber of grant applications it receives--all of which that "a lot of people, including many members are on the increase. of the press, see the word `research' and either think they can't/won't understand it or they are Donations to Komen for the Cure continue to afraid to even try. Coupled with this is the fact that increase, and the participation in Komen events, Komen funds a lot of `basic' research--inquiries at such as the Race for the Cure, continues to be the cellular level, etc., and it is, at times, difficult robust, as well. Funding from partner programs is to follow and even more difficult to visualize how expected to rise by nearly 40 percent this year.

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Guidebook 58 Communicating the Value of Transportation Research 3 Practice Consultative Group on International Best Agriculture Resources Context CGIAR believes communicating the value of The Consultative Group on International Agricultural the research conducted must include concrete, Research (CGIAR) is a strategic partnership of compelling messages that emphasize the impacts countries, international and regional organizations, of research conducted. The results of the research and private foundations supporting the work must be clear, and communication must link the of 15 international centers to foster sustainable results to CGIAR's goals of reducing poverty and agricultural growth through high-quality science hunger and protecting the environment. CGIAR aimed at benefiting the poor through stronger often communicates these results in written food security, better human nutrition/health, and materials as "leave-behinds" for officials in order to higher incomes and improved management of reinforce their face-to-face communications. natural resources. Originally focused on increasing Challenges crop production for specific critical food crops, CGIARS research today incorporates biodiversity and CGIAR generates a large amount of information; environment research. one challenge, therefore, is that recipients can often feel bombarded and overwhelmed. This is Key actors in research and communications efforts particularly true for one particular audience--policy of CGIAR are its member organizations, the leaders makers and officials--with whom CGIAR judiciously of those organizations, and a CGIAR staff based uses personal contacts to address this issue. in Washington, D.C. Their audiences include Another challenge cited by CGIAR is that written international aid agencies, policy makers (i.e., communications often go unread, no matter how U.S. Congress and leaders of developing nations), they are distributed. To address this challenge, private organizations and foundations, natural CGIAR has put more focus on media coverage resource organizations, and the media (including and finding ways to tell stories that reinforce the international media). messages it wishes to convey. Communication Approach Outcomes CGIAR uses both a centralized system of CGIAR measures its success of communicating communication and local communication at its 15 the value of research through increases in the centers. The foundation for the centralized system number of donors and amounts of donations is the Internet--to keep members, the media, to its programs. The organization considers its and mainstream interests informed on the most communications to have been "moderately" important and current issues. A more personalized successful over the past six years, as it has been approach is taken for policy makers and elected able to garner new support and maintain existing or appointed officials. CGIAR also leverages its support in a "competitive environment." members' and partners' communication abilities to disseminate information. For example, local CGIAR centers participate in radio interviews and local media discussions, a partner organization may produce a video that incorporates video from CGIAR, or research results from CGIAR can be found on links of websites of CGIAR partners.

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Guidebook 59 Non-Transportation Best Practices 4 Practice Association of Fish and Wildlife Best Agencies Context Building relationships with key decision makers, The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies such as congressional officials, is considered critical (AFWA), representing all of North America's fish and to the AFWA. Regular, personal contact helps create wildlife agencies, promotes sound management a presence for the association and has helped the and speaks with a unified voice on emerging fish AFWA build a reputation among those officials. and wildlife conservation programs and activities to Developing relationships with congressional staff, protect the continent's natural resources. A Science as well, is considered as important as developing and Research Liaison within the organization works relationships with congressional officials. closely with a variety of partners to initiate and Furthermore, finding champions who will advocate provide timely, credible, science-based information for the association, its mission, and its research that can be used by resource managers to protect efforts is a part of the AFWA's communication and manage fish, wildlife, and their habitats in the strategy. public interest. Current issues involved in AFWA Challenges research include the impacts of wind power on fish and wildlife, global climate change, and hurricane Information overload on the part of communication restoration and recovery. recipients is considered one of the challenges of communication for the AFWA. Another The AFWA considers its members to be its challenge is ensuring that recipients understand primary audience. The U.S. Congress, sportsman's the information given to them, particularly when organizations, conservation groups, and the general it involves complex, technical information. The public are also considered to be key audiences. The association focuses its communication efforts on AFWA has a Science and Research Program, which is issues of current interest, which is largely defined designed to strengthen cooperation between state, as those issues deemed most critical by the federal, private, and international agencies and public. To ensure there are no misunderstandings partners. The Science and Research Program seeks or miscommunications about the information it to expand and enhance scientific capabilities and distributes to congressional and elected officials, the services by matching state research needs with the AFWA feels it is imperative to have someone discuss science capabilities of federal agencies. the information with the official's staff beforehand. Communication Approach Outcomes Targeting communication materials and messages With goals of increasing stable, long-term funding to specific audiences is common practice for the through federal legislation and seeking annual AFWA. The association creates several materials congressional appropriations to help finance fish that are similar (such as newsletters, information and wildlife conservation programs, the AFWA has kits, and fact sheets), but distributes the materials successfully targeted Congress as its key audience. using different methods, depending on the In 2000, AFWA efforts included passage of the audience. The AFWA believes in being creative with Wildlife Conservation Restoration and State Wildlife communications, particularly to bring attention to Grants Programs. In April 2006, when a massive cut specific elements of fish and wildlife successes. An threatened the State Wildlife Grants Program, the example of this creativity is the awards they bestow association led an intensive five-week campaign upon congressional members. of grassroots leadership and media to help restore program funding in the Senate.

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Guidebook 61 References References Cutlip, Scott M., Allen H. Center, and Glen M. Broom, Effective Public Relations, 8th ed., Prentice Hall, NY, 1999. Bremmer, Daniela and James H. Bryan, Jr., "Bridging the Gap Between Agencies and Citizens: Performance Journalism as a Practical Solution to Communicate Performance Measures and Results," Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2046, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, D.C., 2008, p. 20-29. Dean, Thomas B. and Barbara T. Harder, NCHRP Synthesis of Highway Practice 280: Seven Keys to Building a Robust Research Program, Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, Washington, D.C., 1999, p. 2. FrameWorks Institute, "Framing Public Issues," 2002, , accessed on October 28, 2008. Mendonca, Lenny T. and Matt Miller, "Crafting a Message that Sticks: An Interview with Chip Heath," The McKinsey Quarterly, November 2007, , accessed on October 28, 2008. National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, "Communicating Science to the Public: A Handbook for Researchers," January 5, 2004, , accessed on May 28, 2009. VandeVrede, Linda, "The new rules: Time to remember the difference between publicity and public relations," Public Relations Tactics, Public Relations Society of America, September 2007, , accessed on October 28, 2008.