TRANSPORTATION MATTERS for IOWA

Transportation Matters for Iowa blog now online


Iowa-DOT-logo_horizontal-with-tagline_color-gradientAmazing things are being accomplished each and every day at the Iowa DOT. Whether we’re developing a new way to track material use in the field, planning a safer intersection option, or finding innovations in driver licensing, the work you do matters to every person who lives, works, or travels through Iowa.

So, with all this great stuff going on, shouldn’t we do a better job of telling people about what’s going on in the Iowa DOT? “Absolutely,” said Paul Trombino III, director of the Iowa DOT. “I want to find more ways to let the citizens of Iowa know how the transportation system impacts them every day and what we are doing as an agency to manage that system."

To help tell the Iowa DOT’s story, the agency is launching this blog, “Transportation Matters for Iowa." The plan is to post stories about what the Iowa DOT is doing to manage and improve the transportation system in the state. Andrea Henry, director of the Iowa DOT’s Office of Strategic Communications, said, “Initially, we plan to post one or two stories each week to the blog. At first, those posts will come from staff in Strategic Communications, but over time, we hope to empower any employee to become a DOT reporter to tell their own stories on the blog.”

Trombino added, "The blog will also be another way to have a conversation with our customers. People can post comments and have discussions about transportation.”

Henry says this communication format can provide a number of benefits. “The blog will be an information resource for both employees and our external customers. Using a blog can tell our story using a variety of media formats. Along with traditional text and limited photos we currently use in our employee newsletter, INSIDE, or in our news releases, we can include video and entire photo galleries on the blog. Photos and video can be captured by employees on the fly from any enabled mobile device. The stories can be short or long, whatever is needed to share with the public and employees what we’re doing and why we do the things we do. ”

Henry says she envisions the blog also becoming a resource for the media, allowing the Iowa DOT to send fewer news releases. She said, “With the blog we’ll be able to reach the media and anyone in the public who wants to hear their news directly from us. Anyone can access the blog anytime from the Iowa DOT's home page (www.iowadot.gov) and, each time a new blog entry is posted, an email will be sent to the mailing list of people who have signed up for the blog. Over the next few weeks, emails will be sent to every DOT employee and to everyone on our current news release distribution list with the details about how to sign up for the blog.”

The blog will include the same types of stories currently seen in INSIDE.  Since all employees have access to the blog, the printed and online versions of the employee newsletter are being phased out. Tracey Bramble from the Office of Strategic Communications is the editor of INSIDE and will be providing the initial content for the blog. She said, “We will still produce INSIDE through April or May while we transition to the blog. All the information currently in INSIDE and more will be on the blog, divided into categories. The stories will be grouped into categories, allowing people a quick way to see the type of information they choose.  Instead of having to thumb through the pages of INSIDE to find the story you want, the blog will help you easily find stories that interest you.”

She said, “The blog will also allow us to post more stories in a timely manner. Because of time and space constraints of INSIDE, time-sensitive information is often not included. Using the blog format, we’ll be able to post relevant information as soon as it is available, without having to wait for a monthly publication date. Now that every employee has email access, this will speed up the process of getting the news out to our people.”

Another benefit of the blog format, it’s portable. Because the blog is Internet-based, it can be accessed from any computer or mobile device that can get Web service.  “I know that change can be difficult, but I truly believe this new tool will improve communication with both our employees and our external customers,” said Henry.

                                               

 

 

 

 

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