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N A T I O N A L C O O P E R A T I V E H I G H W A Y R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M NCHRP REPORT 742 Communicating the Value of Preservation: A Playbook Joe Crossett Kyle Schneweis HigH Street ConSulting group Pittsburgh, PA i n a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h Burns & McDonnell Kansas City, MO Parris Communications Kansas City, MO CDM Smith Columbia, SC Subscriber Categories Education and Training â¢ Highways â¢ Maintenance and Preservation TRANSPORTAT ION RESEARCH BOARD WASHINGTON, D.C. 2012 www.TRB.org Research sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration
NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM Systematic, well-designed research provides the most effective approach to the solution of many problems facing highway administrators and engineers. Often, highway problems are of local interest and can best be studied by highway departments individually or in cooperation with their state universities and others. However, the 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 cooperative research. In recognition of these needs, the highway administrators of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials initiated in 1962 an objective national highway research program employing modern scientific techniques. This program is supported on a continuing basis by funds from participating member states of the Association and it receives the full cooperation and support of the Federal Highway Administration, United States Department of Transportation. The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies was requested by the Association to administer the research program because of the Boardâs recognized objectivity and understanding of modern research practices. The Board is uniquely suited for this purpose as it maintains an extensive committee structure from which authorities on any highway transportation subject may be drawn; it possesses avenues of communications and cooperation with federal, state and local governmental agencies, universities, and industry; its relationship to the National Research Council is an insurance of objectivity; it maintains a full-time research correlation staff of specialists in highway transportation matters to bring the findings of research directly to those who are in a position to use them. The program is developed on the basis of research needs identified by chief administrators of the highway and transportation departments and by committees of AASHTO. Each year, specific areas of research needs to be included in the program are proposed to the National Research Council and the Board by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Research projects to fulfill these needs are defined by the Board, and qualified research agencies are selected from those that have submitted proposals. Administration and surveillance of research contracts are the responsibilities of the National Research Council and the Transportation Research Board. The needs for highway research are many, and the National Cooperative Highway Research Program can make significant contributions to the solution of highway transportation problems of mutual concern to many responsible groups. The program, however, is intended to complement rather than to substitute for or duplicate other 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 NCHRP REPORT 742 Project 14-24 ISSN 0077-5614 ISBN 978-0-309-25870-8 Library of Congress Control Number 2012952623 Â© 2012 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. COPYRIGHT INFORMATION Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, FMCSA, FTA, or Transit Development Corporation endorsement of a particular product, method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission from CRP. NOTICE The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program, conducted by the Transportation Research Board with the approval of the Governing Board of the National Research Council. The members of the technical panel selected to monitor this project and to review this report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. The report was reviewed by the technical panel and accepted for publication according to procedures established and overseen by the Transportation Research Board and approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council. The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this report are those of the researchers who performed the research and are not necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board, the National Research Council, or the program sponsors. The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, the National Research Council, and the sponsors of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturersâ names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of the report.
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. On the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, on its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academyâs purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. The Transportation Research Board is one of six major divisions of the National Research Council. The mission of the Transporta- tion Research Board is to provide leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisciplinary, and multimodal. The Boardâs varied activities annually engage about 7,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individu- als interested in the development of transportation. www.TRB.org www.national-academies.org
C O O P E R A T I V E R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M S AUTHOR ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Joe Crossett with High Street Consulting Group was the project director and principal investigator for NCHRP Project 14-24. Other principal authors of this report included Kyle Schneweis (High Street Consulting Group), Julie Lorenz (Burns & McDonnell), Jeremy Anderson and Kelly Cooper (Parris Communications), and Jeff Carroll (CDM Smith). CRP STAFF FOR NCHRP REPORT 742 Christopher W. Jenks, Director, Cooperative Research Programs Crawford F. Jencks, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research Programs Andrew C. Lemer, Senior Program Officer Sheila Moore, Program Associate Eileen P. Delaney, Director of Publications Natalie Barnes, Senior Editor NCHRP PROJECT 14-24 PANEL Field of MaintenanceâArea of Maintenance of Way and Structures Dan Scherschligt, Kansas DOT, Topeka, KS (Chair) Jennifer Brandenburg, North Carolina DOT, Raleigh, NC Stephen E. Liner, Florida DOT, Tallahassee, FL Thomas J. Madison, Jr., NYS Thruway Authority & Canal Corporation, Albany, NY Eric Pitts, Georgia DOT, Atlanta, GA Liz Rankin, Seattle DOT, Seattle, WA (retired) Steve Takigawa, California DOT, Sacramento, CA Peter J. Weykamp, New York State DOT, Albany, NY Anwar S. Ahmad, FHWA Liaison Anna R. Okola, World Bank Liaison Frank N. Lisle, TRB Liaison
F O R E W O R D By Andrew C. Lemer Staff Officer Transportation Research Board This report presents guidance for communicating the value of highway system maintenance and preservation. The guidance includes numerous examples and models that transporta- tion agency staff members can use to presentâsuccinctly and persuasively to agency leader- ship, elected officials, and the publicâthe case for allocating budgetary and other resources to preserve and maintain the publicâs investment in highway infrastructure. A stitch in time saves nine. This old proverb delivers crisply and memorably its message that making a small effort to deal immediately with a problem can forestall the need for a more substantial fix in the future. The message applies to highway maintenance and preservation, but more information typically is needed for the message to resonate with todayâs taxpayers and the government officials responsible for allocating adequate funding to do now what it takes to prevent future failures. Budget constraints and continued public demand for transportation services put pressure on state departments of transportation (DOTs) to âdo more with less.â In some cases, this has led to deferral or other changes in activities to maintain and preserve surface transpor- tation facilities and equipment, and consequently to deterioration of current performance, accelerated aging and deterioration, and reduced service life for pavements, bridges, and other system components. Transportation professionals recognize these consequences and can forecast both their severity and the levels of maintenance and preservation effort that would optimize the publicâs return on their transportation system investment. However, competing interests in the resource allocation process may constrain these professionalsâ ability to take effective action. Experience in other areas of public policy suggests that improving transportation agenciesâ ability to communicate effectively with stakeholders can enhance public under- standing of the consequences of deferring maintenance and preservation efforts and help decision makers facing difficult resource-allocation choices. The objective of NCHRP Proj- ect 14-24 was to develop guidance that state DOTs and other transportation agencies can use to formulate and implement strategies for communicating the role and importance of maintenance and asset-preservation in sustaining highway system performance. A research team led by High Street Consulting Group, Pittsburgh, PA, conducted the research. The research team reviewed literature and current practices for communicating the importance of system maintenance and preservation in DOTs and a range of fields facing facility management issues similar to those of DOTs. Subsequent analysis focused on (a) how such entities identify and characterize their stakeholders, develop communi- cation strategies, and create and refine messages; (b) communication strategies, media, and communication methods used; and (c) criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of the
communication. Based on their analysis of effective strategies, the team described methods that can be used to create messages (surveys or focus groups, for example) about highway system maintenance and preservation for stakeholders and developed specific examples that can serve as models or templates that a DOT can use to communicate about their own particular situation. This document is written as a guide that agency staff can use in formulating an effective strategy for communicating the importance of highway maintenance and preservation, applying criteria and methods for evaluating the effectiveness of a communication strategy, and adjusting a strategy if necessary to ensure its effectiveness. Applying the methods and examples presented in the guide can help an agencyâs stakeholdersâincluding the general public, elected officials, and senior agency managersâto understand the scope, scale, and urgency of their highway systemâs preservation and maintenance needs.
Table of Contents Chapter 1. Playbook Welcome Chapter 2. Building Blocks for Effective Communications Chapter 3. Audience Identification Chapter 4. Message Design Chapter 5. Message Delivery Chapter 6. Market Research Chapter 7. Go Create a Campaign! Appendix A. Example Materials Developed for the Project A-1: Presentations A-2: Logos, Slogans, and Billboards A-3: Fact Sheets and Brochures A-4: Op-eds and Press Releases A-5: Blast Emails A-6: Website A-7: Social Media Appendix B. Additional Industry Examples B-1: Brochure and Fact Sheet Examples B-2: Press Release and Op-ed Examples Appendix C. Supplemental Playbook Material C-1: Sample Audience Segmentation Analysis C-2: Stakeholder Interview Guide C-3: Communication Strategy Self-Assessment Appendix D. Additional Project Research D-1: State DOT Survey Results D-2: Workshop Summary 1 18 19 29 41 54 60 61 62 92 96 104 109 112 114 120 121 140 153 154 158 161 170 171 185