Social Media use in Major Road Projects


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This presntation was made to a group of Australian Major Road Project Managers. The focus was on how Social Media tools and communications can help major projects better reach the public. The key takeout was that the costs of attracting one follower and keeping them for the life a project is far cheaper than continually trying to reach them over the life of a project.

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  • Good morning and welcome to what I hope will be an informative dive into how Social Media can be an important part of your community consultation program We are going to have a look below the hype at what Social Media really is, who’s using it and in particular, how it can be used for managing a major project.
  • I’d like you to realise that Social Media is just another evolving step in the evoltion of media and communication. It’s now people who are in control of what they say and what they read. I’d like to think of Social Media in terms of your own personal newspaper. You are in control, you are the editor and the publisher. You get the chance to choose what content you see and form whom it comes from. Imagine if your daily breakfast newspaper contained only news of your football team, your town, your drive to work, your office, your project your favourite celebrities and nothing about Collingwood or politics! You can also publish your own thoughts and images, engage with people you know and have similar interests and allow others to share their thoughts and opinions that might be about YOU
  • I’d like you to think of this evolution from Web 1.0 This blackboard message is the same as the first generation of websites and emails. You get a website (or maybe a newspaper) You place some information and you WAIT – you wait for them to come and find out. You might even pay someone to get people to see your message Your message is fixed, people can’t comment, it’s very inflexibile. This was useful and we flocked to the internet in our millions, but it’s pretty dry
  • Web 2.0 The new web allows us to share, consume, respond, when it suits up, using the tools we like to use. We all remember someone sending us some photos from their holiday, we opened the email, looked at the photos and after a while wished they would not send any more emails that clogged up our inbox. With the web you get to choose what you see, it might be as a friend on facebook, or a follower on Twitter. On the other hand you can put information out in the internet with sites like facebook or twitter for people to see, they see it when they want to, and if they like it, they will share it further and so it goes.
  • So why Social Media, we’ve always just had a community forum and put ads in the paper?
  • Hoddle Street study: so far so good In April 2010 the Hoddle Street online forum was launched as part of a broader consultation and engagement strategy. The online forum has been a key part in understanding concerns, ideas and what’s important to residents, businesses and users of Hoddle Street. 6,129 visitors posting 1,859 comments. The community’s key themes included: Connectivity – communities, services, businesses and recreational areas. Train stations – improved safety and connectivity. Liveability – reducing traffic on local streets. Pedestrians – safer facilities for crossing Hoddle Street. Buses – improved priority access. Cyclists – improved crossing times, dedicated bike lanes and local bike paths. Trams – priority and separation from cars. Traffic movements – reduced congestion and improved traffic flows. A critical part of understanding the results of an online engagement process is to acknowledge that success is often measured by the amount of users getting the information they need and choosing not to participate further. The online forum results will help our planners and engineers understand the social impacts as they develop options for an integrated and sustainable solution for the future of Hoddle Street. Use of forums, FAQ’s, Key documents, polls Maybe a comment on the latest Australia Scan data on community consultation.
  • The beauty of social media sites is they are easy to use, cheap to set up and can allow you to reach a large number of users. You can push timely information to your Twitter Page. This is not much different though to putting the information on a static website.
  • Where it gets interesting though is that your information is often mixed in with others information
  • Do “listen in” and “contribute” to the conversations occurring on various platforms. The key message was that as a business, you should be monitoring, reacting and responding. Don’t see social media as a short term strategy or fad. The clear message at ad:tech was that it needs to become an ongoing form of engagement. Marketers have had mixed fortunes when it comes to tapping into social media, they frequently try to engage with brand ambassadors and embrace user generated content. There were numerous examples of businesses that were able to gather a following through clever campaigns and events, but only to let them go as soon as the campaign was over. Remind yourself that you don’t have complete control. You can guide the followers, but once you overstep the mark and try to take control, you risk damaging your brand.
  • Social Media use in Major Road Projects

    1. 1. Use of Social Media in Major Projects State Road Authorities Project Management Executive Meeting February 25 2011
    2. 2. <ul><li>Introduction to Social Media </li></ul><ul><li>What is it? </li></ul><ul><li>The numbers </li></ul><ul><li>How it can be used for a major project? </li></ul><ul><li>Community Consultation </li></ul><ul><li>Real Time information, when it’s needed </li></ul><ul><li>Video </li></ul><ul><li>Listen to what the community is saying </li></ul><ul><li>What can you do? </li></ul><ul><li>Questions and thoughts </li></ul>Agenda
    3. 3. Introduction to Social Media <ul><li>It’s just another step in the evolution of media and communication between people </li></ul><ul><li>It’s people who are in control, of what they say and what they read </li></ul>
    4. 4. Web 1.0 M80 upgrade works this weekend
    5. 5. Web 2.0 <ul><li>You speak, people choose to follow, they share with others </li></ul>
    6. 6. What is it? <ul><li>A collection of tools and online spaces that assist individuals and business to accelerate their information and communication needs. </li></ul><ul><li>allows data, information & knowledge to flow real-time between individuals </li></ul><ul><li>A new way of speaking and a new way of listening </li></ul><ul><li>A way to reach people when it suits them </li></ul><ul><li>A way to reach a larger audience than traditional methods of communication </li></ul>
    7. 7. The numbers <ul><li>It’s just for kids? Right? </li></ul><ul><li>More than 25% of Twitter users are 35-44, trailed by the 45-54 group at less than 20% (65% of all users are over the age of 35 with less than 20% representing the 24 and under age groups) </li></ul><ul><li>25% of Facebook users are 45-54 with the 35-44 group at just 20% (61% are 35 or older) </li></ul>
    8. 8. How can it be used for a major project? <ul><li>Initial consultation with the community? </li></ul><ul><li>Ongoing community engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Ongoing communication </li></ul><ul><li>Building relationships with the community </li></ul><ul><li>Celebrating success </li></ul><ul><li>Reaching culturally and language diverse groups </li></ul><ul><li>Listening to the community, engaging with them </li></ul><ul><li>All these activities are in conjunction with traditional methods of communications </li></ul>
    9. 9. Community consultation
    10. 10. Real Time information, when it’s needed <ul><li>Twitter Feeds </li></ul>
    11. 11. More than just putting it on a page
    12. 12. Distribution
    13. 13. Video
    14. 14. Listen to what they are saying <ul><li>Do listen in and contribute </li></ul><ul><li>You should be monitoring, reacting and responding </li></ul><ul><li>Social Media is not a fad or short term strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Social media is an ongoing form of engagement </li></ul><ul><li>You don’t have complete control, you can guide them, but if you overstep the mark and try to take control, you risk damaging your brand </li></ul>
    15. 15. What can you do? <ul><li>Get a Twitter Account </li></ul><ul><li>Follow projects just like yours </li></ul><ul><li>Follow media in your area </li></ul><ul><li>Follow a theme #vicfloods #eqnz </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Follow comments on your organisation, follow themes around your project </li></ul><ul><li>Send a tweet! </li></ul>
    16. 16. Thoughts and questions? <ul><li>David Egan </li></ul><ul><li>Manager, Web Services and Online Integration </li></ul><ul><li>VicRoads </li></ul><ul><li>E [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>T @degan1970 </li></ul>