Major Road Projects Victoria (MRPV) is a Victorian government body charged with planning and delivering major road projects for the state.
MRPV was tasked with delivering Victoria’s first continuous flow intersection (CFI) for the Streamlining Hoddle Street Project (the Project), a state government election commitment to improve traffic flow on Melbourne’s busiest arterial road. More than 330,000 people travel along and across the Punt Road/Hoddle Street corridor each day.
A CFI improves safety and traffic flow by moving right turns away from the intersection. Being the first CFI in Victoria, the Project’s success was dependent on road users being able to navigate the new intersection easily and safely from the instant it went live.
This was the goal for our public education and awareness campaign, “More Go Time,” for which we were delighted to win the IABC Gold Quill Award of Excellence in 2020.
To achieve this, our strategic communications team aimed to reach as many road users as possible — as many times as possible — in the lead-up to the CFI implementation to ensure they were prepared for the change and knew how to navigate the new intersection.
Our team developed a comprehensive suite of educational content, produced in a variety of formats, such as 3D instructional videos, to accommodate the diverse needs and preferences of our broad target audiences, including culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
The benefits-focused “More Go Time” key message was supported by practical, functional content that provided audiences with the specific details of the change — when and where it was happening and how it would change the way they traveled through the intersection.
Content was distributed across a wide range of owned, earned, paid and third-party channels. The objective was to get our messages in front of our target audiences wherever they happened to be and as many times as possible.
The “More Go Time” campaign achieved all objectives and far exceeded expectations. Our messages were seen almost 21.3 million times, eclipsing our target of 8 million, with higher-than-expected engagement on several fronts. Inbound calls to the contact center were less than one-third of our target of 150 in the first four weeks, indicating that our communications were clear and provided our target audiences with the information they needed. There also were no recorded incidents in the first month of operation, and ongoing monitoring indicates that motorists have quickly adapted to the new turning movement.
The process of participating in the Gold Quill Awards was a valuable learning experience for our strategic communications team.
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Crafting Goal-oriented Communications
Time-poor communicators often are guilty of leaping into writing tactical comms plans that follow a tried and tested formula, supported by vague motherhood statements masquerading as objectives. Not only does this make it nearly impossible to measure whether you achieved your communications objectives once the campaign is over, but there’s a very good chance that your communications won’t have satisfied the business need. This makes it difficult to prove the case for ongoing investment in communications.
Winning the Award of Excellence for the “More Go Time” campaign proved the value of taking the time up front to establish the business need and SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound) objectives to accomplish those needs — and only then settling down to the business of designing a campaign focused on delivering those objectives.
This has also helped us think more strategically about evaluation and how we demonstrate how our communications campaigns have enabled the achievement of business goals.
My advice to others planning to enter the Gold Quill Awards is to plan ahead. When you start planning for your next campaign, set yourself a goal to make it an award-winning campaign. Then follow the Gold Quill award entry criteria to the letter. Not only does the criteria provide excellent guidance on how to structure your entry, you’ll find it also provides very sound and robust guidance for communications planning. Follow the criteria carefully, and you’ll likely bag yourself a winner.
Read the full case study here.
Megan Taylor is the head of communications and stakeholder engagement for Major Road Projects Victoria.