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ACTT Workshop: Montana
January 26-28, 2004, Missoula, Montana

Appendix C (continued): Skill Set Reporting Forms

Public Relations/ITS Skill Set

Public Relations/ITS Team Members
Mark Ball, TXDOT
Bob Seliskar, FHWA - Montana
Prudy Hulman, MDT
RC Lewis Yellowrobe, CSKT
Shane Stack, MDT
Jaime Helmuth, WTI
Lisa Vander Heiden, MDT
Cliff Franklin, TTI
Brandi Tesch, MDT
Martin Knopp, FHWA
(Short Name)
(Detailed Description)
Implementation Details
(Barriers, Skill Set Coordination, etc.)
Draft Brand Project
  • Needs to be done ASAP so it does not get branded as something people don't like. It needs to be approved by tribal elders.
  • MT seven generations
  • Flathead seven generations
  • CSKT seven generations
  • Need to trademark the logo so no-one steals it - tribe should trademark - may have issue with this
  • Use a logo of intertwining circles (important to the tribes) and have pictures of people of different generations and races
Draft Branding/Logo
  • We need to name it so a constituent or media does not name it something that is unacceptable - sticks that is bad and someone that takes credit for the name.
  • Coyote, heart, fish, bear, turtles, elder, chief, heroes, 7 generations
  • Seven Generations Highway
  • Symbol of 7 overlapping circles in a circle with pictures in them (baby CSKT, middle age CSKT, elder CSKT, and then fill other 4 with different races)
  • Teepee with a white buffalo would be an acceptable logo - not arrow with white buffalo logo as this is National Park Service logo
Final Brand/Logo decision
  • "Spirit of Place Highway"
  • 7 Generations brand is "stereotypical" - may have trademark/registering issues as it is the name of organizations and another tribe came up with the name.
  • The name needs to go through POG first. Naming the highway will require congressional approval and additional signing on the road. If name it "project" instead of "highway" do not need to go through this process.
  • The tribe started a logo with the reservation outline, mountains, teepee, and white bison - can start with this one.
7 Main Objectives/Key Points
  1. Cultural preservation - protecting landmarks
  2. Spirit of Place
  3. Improve Safety
  4. Improve Efficiency
  5. Protecting the environment - wildlife, wetlands, native plants
  6. Improve all Modes - Bike/Pedestrian
  7. National Park mission
  • More detail -
  • Working with three governments
  • Wetlands Preservation
  • Working with the landscape
  • Animal Crossings
  • Timeline and Schedule
  • Safety, LOS, and environment - moving people safely, efficiently, and in harmony with the environment
  • MDT $500,000 for 7 years TxDOT $260 M project and $100,000 PR
  • It costs money to have a positive image. Present proposed budget to a small group and put it in terms of a percent of the construction cost. Does MDT have a survey that says public still not in touch with project? Show 'Pray for me I drive on hwy 93' sign - don't want this type of image
  • Local
  • Regional
  • National (Commercial Vehicle Operators)
  • Tourists
  • Need a plan for stakeholders to identify the audiences - over a dozen most likely
  • MDT
  • CSKT
  • FHWA
  • State, Tribe, and Federal Agencies
  • Farmers/Ranchers
  • Commercial Vehicle Operators
  • Tourists/tourism industry
  • RV parks
  • Car rental agencies
  • Airports
  • Property owners/businesses
  • Law officers
  • Emergency services
  • Schools/colleges
  • Commuters
  • Elected officials/local gov'ts
  • Chambers of Commerce
  • Recreationists
  • Media
  • Mail service/delivery services
  • Utilities
  • Rail road
  • Local transit
  • One contact person that can talk to everyone. An expert that is meeting with everyone. Need a human face. MDT person and a tribal member. Someone that can be there for the people to speak with and explain why things cannot be done or bring ideas back to DOT. Have an outside person (TxDOT had a TTI engineer do this). People felt good about talking to him and he could be a "problem solver" or "liaison" between the DOT and the public. Goal is to not have DOT on the front page of the newspaper and to get calls to ombudsman and not the department.
  • External to all three governments - paid by all 3 gov'ts. Project Description is to mediate during public concerns, be the businesses contact, and land owner contact. It should be an engineer to answer technical questions, but also have communication skills for PR.
Project PIO
  • MDT employee
  • This is the "go-to person." They talk to the public and oversee the ad agency, documentary agency, and traveler information coordinator. They are the spokesperson for the DOT and public. Usually this spokesperson has been with the ad agency, but NEED to change it for this project - no outside entity should be speaking to press on DOTs behalf.
Tribal Liaison
  • Has tribes interests at heart and works alongside the PIO
PR Committee
  • Tribal liaison (same as construction liaison)
  • Project Public Information Officer (PIO)
  • Ombudsman (Mobility Coordinator)
  • This group would oversee all public relations and write the RFP and choose the AD agency. There job is to get out PR - on budget and on schedule and sell the idea of the brand also sell schedule as "Contractors Progress Report" to hand over the responsibility.
Hire Ad Agency
  • Reports to PIO. Never talks to public (usually done differently, but needs to be changed). They will be in charge of:
    • Focus groups
    • Logo/brand
    • Work Plan
    • Trinkets
    • Brochure
  • Need to tell the ad agency what images want to see on the logo, but let them be creative. Also need to ensure that the logo can be put onto trinkets - it is usable - not a lot of colors
Traveler Information Coordinator
  • Current position in the maintenance department.
  • Needs construction information weekly for updating 511
  • Will feed public information when they call department
  • Possibly produce a project specific report for the website
  • Field positive/negative 511 comments on accuracy
  • Must have complete contact with PIO
Documentary Company
  • Outside company
  • Reports to the PIO
  • Documents project in a report (80s to present)
  • Conference Papers such as Transportation Research Board (TRB), National Rural ITS (NRITS), ITS America, ITE, ITS World Congress
  • Video (begin to end) to show at conferences and on PBS and History channel
  • Trade articles such as Public Roads
Transportation Awareness Program
  • Biggest bang for your buck is talking directly to the public. 4H Fairs in US-93 corridor and state fairs.
Alternative Marketing Options with Community Involvement
  • Some agencies do free marketing for local community
  • U of Missoula or MSU Journalism school might help put together a marketing campaign
  • Do a school contest to create the logo
  • SKC College - logos or video creation
  • Watch out in pro-bono work as to who owns the information/logo, etc. Write the ownership into the contract. Is Jones and Jones still working on logos? Watch trying to cut the budget on the important things.
Keep Locals and Travelers Informed
  • Do not surprise travelers and locals with information. Don't make too cute or not let people know all the information. Make sure they know prior to things happening and keep the Elders involved. Fix mistakes and always be honest.
Focus Groups
  • Test brands and marketing ideas with focus groups.
    Keep the Flathead Resource Organization (FRO), Salish and Pend D'Oreilles Elders, the Kootenai Elders, and the Tribal Council in the loop. Talk to Tom Smith to get contact for FRO. The Tribal Council makes the final decision, but get their recommendations from the elders.
    Due to being on southpart of reservation Salish and Pend D'Oreilles more involved, but Kootenai do not want to be left out. With the tribes silence does not mean agreement - they are thinking for 7 generations so takes a lot of thought. Tony Incashola is the spokesperson to the Elders.
  • Different focus groups - CSKT, non-tribal locals, tourists, etc
  • Posters at theatre, universities, drive-thrus on US-93 corridor is a way to get information, airports
  • Free placemats for local restaurants - coffee shops, gas stations. St. Ignatius has local restaurant where Chamber of Commerce people meet for breakfast. Polson and Ronan probably have it too.
  • Calendars promoting corridor - school districts print their own school group calendars and sport schedules - they are always looking for donations
  • Tribes have quarterly meetings - present a display to them. We need to keep the elders informed.
  • Sharon Silberman and Renee Pierre contacts
Before Construction
  • Pre-construction video
  • Focus Groups - ad agency to meet with these people
  • Phasing the messages
  • Committee for hiring/RFP PR company
During Construction
  • Real-time information
  • Milestone celebrations
After Construction
  • National Conference Presence
  • Video of Project from beginning to completion - for PBS/History Channel
Construction Coordination
  • Need to have liaison with construction/contractor and schedules - updated monthly at MDT - need to put this in the contract and tie to money that the schedule needs to be updated. MDT create milestones and decide what is a priority to be completed - not the contractor. Need to speak with construction group. Need input and coordination with construction office and contractor, etc.
  • Fine for No disturbance area
  • Traveler information - hourly information on HAR, DMS, etc
Pre-construction & Documentation Video
  • The 'High Five' project in Dallas created a video to give to library, schools, and video rental store to explain to people what will be happening and showing a visualization of what the road will look like after - tribes thought this was going to happen already. They sent this to businesses and local groups. Also do a documentation video of entire project for history channel.
  • In Montana have a unique aspect to this project so need to explain it to visitors - the three entity collaboration and the money spent on more things than just pavement. Explain why we are spending so much money on the wildlife crossing. CSKT did a 5 minute video with a song and talks about preserving the environment - you can take some excerpts and the song in the background from this video for MDT's. SKC has a video production department. They could video it for us, plus learn about the project, have hands-on experience with videoing, and can play it on the CSKT tv station as well. Also show on cable access and PBS.
Logo on Trinkets
  • Logo pins work well and key chains
Blank Billboards
  • Use this free method for publicity. Create
Utility Company and Phone Company inserts
  • Ronan and Blackfoot Telephone - put out newsletters also
  • Created and updated by Ad Agency
  • In past has been done by the contractor, but not as "real-time" as it should be
Milestone Celebrations
  • Showcase accomplishments as they go.
  • Free meal donated by private firms, adjacent property owners (no public money).
  • Hire a local drum group and Native American for prayers before meal. Have politicians speak and news stations attend. Make sure people know good things of project. Every year or at finish of section of project.
  • Rest area kiosks
Media Coverage
  • North Carolina DOT has strongest media coverage because they are located in the construction office
  • Larger companies on US-93 newsletter
  • Tribe company newsletter (1000 people)
  • Char'koosta Newspaper
  • Late County Leader
  • Advertiser
  • Janet can give us list of major corporations in area - project PIO to give info to them.
Radio Stations KERR - KQRK
  • On tribal lands
  • Instead or to supplement the roadside signs, they are going to create a map to distribute with the place names on them. Phonetic information on Salish names. Also considered putting this on HAR or on a cd with names pronounced.
Free Coffee on US-93
  • People hand out free coffee on US-93 during summer - get them to hand out info
Work Zone signage
  • Teach public how to read work zone signs, but then don't put them up correctly.
  • Also use TAP's slogan "Drive Slow - Think Fast." Perhaps put this on signs in the corridor as they hand out stickers and people will recognize the saying.
  • Maintenance Traveler Information Coordinator is the contact for this.
  • Put up signs on US-93 to promote 511. Put supplemental signs on pole saying "construction information." And when install signs check cell coverage in the area.
  • Use cameras for traffic control. Portables may be more usable for this project. Tie them into the project and MDT Traveler Information web site.
  • The current CCTV web page is one of the most frequently used MDT sites.
  • Permanent cost approx. $20,000-30,000 depending on camera color, and weather ability, and pole height
  • Traffic Control group, not PR, to put purchasing of these and operation in contract. MDT maintenance division (Traveler Information Coordinator) to provide document on what should/should not be put on equipment. Contractor will be in charge of physically recording messages. Weekly project meetings will provide info to put on HAR.
  • FHWA vs state money. Lifespan of these is only about 10 years and this is how long the project is
  • Want low powered radio at Ravalli Hill for tribal information. DOT owns a low powered frequency. Buy HAR for construction and then leave for Tribal info after - if turn over after can't use FHWA monies unless use for transportation as well. Be careful in mountain areas with lighting. Be careful with having a road person putting the information on there as may not upgrade as much. Put together a plan for HAR - what info put on it, what type of HAR use, and full time the solar power won't work.
  • Tony Incashola wants to be involved in this.
  • Teepee with a white buffalo would be an acceptable logo
Portable DMS
  • Most important traveler information
  • Traffic Control group, not PR, to put purchasing of these and operation in contract. MDT maintenance division (Traveler Information Coordinator) to provide document on what should/should not be put on equipment. Contractor will be in charge of physically recording messages. Weekly project meetings will provide info to put on DMS.
Enforcement (ITS and non-ITS)
  • Speed trailers - ITS equipment and police presence
ITS and Contractor
  • There needs to be special provisions in the contract about information needed for 511, DMS, HAR, and how often it needs to be provided and to whom. Put a special provision about schedule too, but do not associate with money - need to pick battles on fees/incentives.
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Updated: 06/27/2017
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000