Managing Change in State DOTs - Scan 4 of 8: Innovations in DOT Communications, Image, and Positioning

National Cooperative Highway Research Program


This report examines state DOT communications (internal and external), image (what people think of the agency), and positioning (the ways DOTs choose to gain support and funding for programs and projects). Those agencies that were most advanced focused on improving both internal communications with staff and external communications with the public, elected officials, and the media. Some innovative states are assessing their image and identifying ways in which to clarify and improve it with the public, recognizing that image enhancement and improved constituent communications may lead to an improved position for the agency, to new resources, and to a more supportive audience for the agency's work. States reported that proactive efforts to better communicate and to position the agency positively with decision makers have led to increased public support and legislative funding for the DOTs. [Note: this report is based on 13-year old information, which does not capture more recent communication tools and strategies such as social media, nor the greater difficulty faced in achieving increased funding for transportation programs or projects.]

Source Organization Location

Washington, DC

Operations Area of Practice

  • Business Processes/Policies and Procedures
  • Communicating Reliability Information
  • Leadership
  • Organizational Models

Organizational Capability Element

  • Leadership/Championship
  • Outreach & Marketing
  • Organizational Structure/Staffing

Content Type

  • Research

Role in Organization

  • CEO / GM / Commissioner
  • Director / Program Manager
  • Media / PIO
  • Principal Engineer
  • Public Safety Officer
  • Senior Engineer
  • Senior Manager
  • Transit Professional
  • Transportation Planner

Publishing Organization


Document Downloads

Project Website

Innovations in DOT Communications, Image, and Positioning

Prime Contractor
Howard/Stein-Hudson Associates
Kathleen E. Stein andRobert K. Sloane
Issue Date
May 1st, 2001
Publication Number
NCHRP 20-24(14), Web Document 39
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