FRANKFORT – Kentucky Transportation Cabinet information officers took the top prize in social media at this year’s AASHTO Subcommittee on Transportation Communications, or TransComm, Skills Awards competition.
The KYTC information officers won Best Use of Single Social Media Platform for their use of Facebook last winter when storms twice dumped more than a foot of snow across Kentucky.
“Our team took a hyper-local approach to their jobs by traveling highways, riding with snow plow drivers, and sharing photos, videos and other real-time road condition data so motorists in each of our 12 highway district regions could have the best information with which to make travel decisions,” said Bob Lewis, KYTC’s acting state highway engineer.
“It was an effort that went above and beyond their day-to-day public relations duties,” Lewis said. “And we’re proud that effort has been recognized.”
TransComm annually recognizes the best communications work of state DOTs. The 2015 winners were announced during the TransComm annual meeting in Annapolis, Maryland, Sept. 13-16.
“Communication plays a key role in moving people and goods safely through communities, and the TransComm Skills Awards each year highlights some of the best work,” said Lloyd Brown, communications director for AASHTO, the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials.
This year, 27 states earned or shared in 35 awards in 10 categories that include print and electronic publications, advertising, special events, video, writing, crisis management, web sites and technology, and social media.
Kentucky’s entry in social media highlighted photos and videos of road conditions and the cabinet’s snow-clearing efforts that were posted on each of the Transportation Cabinet’s 12 highway district Facebook pages and the cabinet’s Frankfort-based Facebook page.
Information officers across the state, as well as Frankfort public affairs staff, provided the public with real-time conditions, forecasts and other data, directing social media users to the most appropriate local or statewide information resource – an effort that reached more than 2 million people on Facebook during the February and March snowstorms.
That effort has, in turn, boosted the Transportation Cabinet’s daily presence on social media, with more than 10,000 new Facebook followers now on highway district and statewide accounts.
Transportation Cabinet information officers recognized during the 2015 TransComm awards included:
• Keith Todd, Kentucky Department of Highways District 1 and 2, Paducah and Madisonville, https://www.facebook.com/KYTCDistrict1 or https://www.facebook.com/KYTCDistrict2
• Wes Watt, Kentucky Department of Highways District 3, Bowling Green, https://www.facebook.com/KYTCDistrict3
• Chris Jessie, Kentucky Department of Highways District 4, Elizabethtown, https://www.facebook.com/KYTCD4
• Andrea Clifford, Kentucky Department of Highways District 5, Louisville, https://www.facebook.com/KYTCDistrict5
• Nancy Wood, Kentucky Department of Highways District 6, Covington, https://www.facebook.com/KYTC.District6
• Natasha Lacy, Kentucky Department of Highways District 7, Lexington, https://www.facebook.com/KYTCDistrict7
• Amber Hale, Kentucky Department of Highways District 8, Somerset, https://www.facebook.com/KYTCDistrict8
• Allen Blair, Kentucky Department of Highways District 9, Flemingsburg, https://www.facebook.com/KYTCDistrict9
• H.B Elkins, Kentucky Department of Highways District 10, Jackson, https://www.facebook.com/KYTCDistrict10
• Les Dixon, Kentucky Department of Highways District 11, Manchester, https://www.facebook.com/KYTCDistrict11
• Sara George, Kentucky Department of Highways District 12, Pikeville, https://www.facebook.com/KYTCDistrict12
• Jim Isaman, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet in Frankfort, https://www.facebook.com/kytc120