Your Transportation Plan

The Challenge

Every four years, CDOT takes a fresh look at transportation needs and builds a statewide plan that identifies how to deliver priority projects that address those needs. While CDOT has created many of these plans over the years, in 2019, the department decided to take a new approach that leveraged public input more than ever before.

CDOT wanted to hear directly from Coloradans about what they need from the state’s transportation system and ensure that taxpayer dollars were prioritized in ways that best deliver on those needs. This approach aimed to energize an ongoing statewide conversation about the vitality of transportation in connecting our daily lives.

CDOT wanted to hear directly from Coloradans about what they need.

Our Solution

In May 2019, CIG went to work. First, our team helped create a robust public engagement plan that detailed all the outreach and engagement efforts that would occur over the following several months. The plan addressed guiding principles, branding, key messages, a launch event, project website, online survey, telephone town halls, grassroots and in-person outreach, social media and traditional media outreach, and milestones around which to report and publicize progress.

Prior to outreach beginning, CIG saw the need for a distinct and engaging brand that would encompass the multiple areas of focus for transportation planning, communicate that CDOT was actively listening, and invite residents to share their voice and different perspectives regarding transportation. Our team led the creation of a name and visual identity for the planning effort, developing the name and tagline — Your Transportation Plan | Connection. Choice. Colorado for All.

With a target audience of, quite literally, everyone in Colorado, we adopted communication strategies and tactics to engage with Coloradans wherever they were. To reach people while they were at home, we held regional telephone town halls. To reach people when they were on their phones or computers, we helped develop an online survey and created a geographically targeted social media campaign. When residents were out in their community, we promoted CDOT’s involvement at local events and county meetings to get their input. And to engage key stakeholder groups, including county and tribal leaders, the military community, freight groups, business groups and bicyclists, we created tailored presentations for the CDOT team to use.

The Results

CDOT leadership deemed the outreach effort “the most expansive and inclusive transportation planning effort in CDOT’s history.” The entire planning team’s efforts led to that success, and CIG played a major role in connecting with the public and stakeholders.

The media launch event CIG organized with CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew and Lt. Governor Dianne Primavera resulted in 24 news stories for 4.8 million potential impressions. We also developed and promoted a video to introduce Your Transportation Plan to the public that received nearly 13,000 views across Facebook and YouTube.

Our team organized, promoted and held six regional telephone town halls. More than 16,200 people participated, and 116 questions were answered during the calls. The Your Transportation Plan telephone town halls had the highest text-to-register numbers in CDOT history.

To maximize public participation in the online survey, telephone town halls and in-person events, CIG implemented an extensive social media campaign with geographically targeted posts, graphics and ads. Our team published 100 Facebook posts and 84 tweets — and to make each post relevant to audiences across the state, our creative team developed unique graphics to accompany each message. Social posts ultimately received more than 1.2 million views and more than 11,000 unique engagements.

While the goal for the online survey was to receive at least 5,000 responses, by the end of the engagement period in early September 2019, Colorado residents completed 9,079 surveys and entered 17,305 comments into the mapping portion of the survey.

Since the end of the engagement period, CIG has developed a comprehensive midpoint report, a 10-year strategic vision document and supported the evolution of “Your Transportation Plan” to “Your Transportation Priorities” — the next step in executing Coloradans’ vision for transportation over the next decade. CIG continues our involvement with CDOT and the Your Transportation Priorities effort to educate the public and key stakeholders on priority projects and the value of investing in transportation.

Social posts ultimately received more than 1.2 million views and more than 11,000 unique engagements.

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© Communication Infrastructure Group 2020