Whether it’s drawing a bear on the side of the highway where a traffic camera wasn’t available, helping develop a Cow on a Plow or creating MS Paint busy weekend maps, Mike Allende is always looking for creative ways to connect one of Washington state’s largest agencies with the public. In leading WSDOT’s effort to engage the public about the 7,000-plus miles of state highway the agency handles, along with the country’s largest ferry system and busiest mountain passes, he aims to mix useful information with humor and levity. Prior to WSDOT, he handled communications in the world of public transportation, a real estate startup and was a sports writer for more than a decade, covering everything from sumo and rock, paper, scissors tournaments, to the Super Bowl and NCAA Tournament.
With so much already on our plate, getting out in the field can be tough. But getting images from the field can be the difference between your content being overlooked and really having an impact. Fortunately we all work with crews who are already out there, but may not know how, when or if to send in pictures or video that could ultimately make or break your social media posts.
Take advantage of having teammates who are in the middle of a snow storm, at the scene of a crash or maybe just in a place with a view that most of us never see. Learn to develop relationships with them so they know what you’re looking for and where to send it. Show them they’re part of the team and teach them how to help you make your content even more valuable to the community.