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Washington State Department of Transportation

Communication Strategy Award Competition Proposal

Sean Fraser Konrad Palubicki Laurie Sperry Challenge As citizens increasingly look to social media platforms for information, the challenge for the Washington State Department of Transportation employees is how to use social media effectively in a time-efficient manner. Currently, WSDOT personnel must obtain information and statistics from a variety of sources. This timeconsuming process would be minimized if social media research and data were compiled. In the interest of maximizing time value, information should only be posted to social media platforms that WSDOT audiences view. Furthermore, employees require a way to stay up-to-date with digital trends and developments. Research The first step of the project is to review relevant existing social media research. This information shall be used to analyze industry trends and present information on what social platforms and outlets will give WSDOT posts maximum visibility. Next, current WSDOT social media analytics, such as readily available Facebook page statistics, will be reviewed and compared to existing social media research. These statistics will offer insight into how citizens interact with WSDOT online, and how digital communications can be improved. Finally, a web-based survey shall be conducted on transportation topics and their relationship to social media platforms. Collected data will be analyzed to determine which social media platforms various transportation topics will most effectively be posted to. The survey will be made public for one week, and 200 Seattle residents will be surveyed. The sample population will be pooled from social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. Creative Strategy The analysis of survey results and the review of relevant research will provide data for the composition of a Social Media Guidebook. This guidebook shall minimize digital communication costs and maximize time value for the WSDOT. The proposed project will save time by compiling information in a user-friendly manner, and will also provide guidance on dynamic social media trends and platforms. The book will be organized into an easily searchable interface that informs employees which social media platform specific information should be posted to for prime audience targeting. The support of WSDOT staff will ensure that the guidebook aligns with the organizations marketing goals and strategy. In addition, the guidebook will also contain a section that provides guidelines and templates for social media application. Here employees can find examples of quality posts. It will also incorporate the WSDOT style guide so that all posts can be stylistically consistent regardless of which employee is posting. Blank templates for social media marketing plans and instructions on how to plan a social media campaign will be included so that social media posts may be implemented strategically and in a timely manner. Proposed Guidebook Contents Section 1 2 2.1 2.2 2.3 Purpose Introduction to Guidebook / Contents Quick Reference Guide to Social Media Platforms Facebook Twitter YouTube

2.4 2.5 3 4 5

Flickr Blogger Social Media Post Style Guide Excellent Social Media Post Examples Blank Social Media Marketing Plans

The use of social media by employees raises a number of policy questions-who, what, personal accounts/private accounts. As this is a student project the guide can only address the question of best practices for the use of social media by WSDOT. Because of the flexible nature of the PDF format, WSDOT could easily incorporate specific employee policies into the social media guidebook to provide a more complete reference for employees. Budget Not to exceed $1,000 and distributed as follows: Survey Incentive Budget: $250.00 Specialized Research Assistance: $750.00 All Expenses would be in addition to the contest award. Timeline Dates are tentative and are subject to change Goal Initial Payment Have survey prepared Meet with WSDOT Communications Specialist Surveying Begins Surveying Complete Survey Analysis Complete Mid-point meeting with WSDOT key staff Complete Sections 1-2.5 of Guidebook Statistic Sections Complete Sections 3-5 of Guidebook Application Sections Have Guidebook Finalized in PDF format Distribute Guidebook Remainder Payment Key Personnel WSDOT-Social media and communications personnel will be needed to implement social media strategy detailed in the guidebook and make updates. Interns may also be involved in this process. This guidebook provides a flexible framework for and can be easily edited by WSDOT Communications staff in order to stay up to date with developments and trends. Sean Fraser 360.608.8032 Konrad Palubicki 425.299.7551 Laurie Sperry 206.817.2260 Upon Selection Jan 27 Feb 5 Feb 12 Feb 19 Feb 26 Feb 29 Mar 4 Mar 8 Mar 18 Mar 23 Mar 30 Due Date