Thursday, December 17, 2009

MDOT Using Online PR Well

I noticed a good example this morning of a government agency using the latest online technology as part of their public relations efforts.

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) posts VNRs to its YouTube channel. This is a no brainer for anyone, but seems especially useful for a government agency. Yeah, there was criticism of government use of VNRs a few years ago, but that was overblown and more the fault of local TV news directors using them without attribution. MDOT's channel is clearly labeled as MDOT, the video news releases have a pre-roll with MDOT clearly identified, and the content is informative to citizens.

The quality is decent as well. It might not work for broadcast (but then again it might). Certainly these VNRs could be mashed and edited by TV stations if there's good (i.e. informative, not boasting) SOT (sound on tape or soundbites) and enough b-roll to edit and localize for use on their own Web sites. I would just stop ending every VNR with an articulation of the MDOT mission statement.

Of course, the MDOT YouTube channel can circumvent news stations altogether for citizens who want to stay informed and subscribe to the channel, or click links from MDOT's Web page, Twitter stream, or Facebook.

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