Agency, Governor applaud communication plan developed by students

New brand, ‘Keeping You Safe and Connected,’ proposed for Nevada Department of Transportation by Reynolds School of Journalism students

Agency, Governor applaud communication plan developed by students

New brand, ‘Keeping You Safe and Connected,’ proposed for Nevada Department of Transportation by Reynolds School of Journalism students

The Nevada Department of Transportation plans this summer to implement a new brand and communications plan developed by strategic communications students at the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno.

The research-based brand and communications plan were developed in the Journalism 442 class in the fall of 2014. They were presented to the NDOT Transportation Board on May 11, 2015 and received unanimous buy-in from all members, including Governor Brian Sandoval and Lt. Governor Mark Hutchinson.

Building on the student-proposed tagline of "Keeping You Safe and Connected," the plan focuses on building strong relationships between NDOT and constituents. It encourages NDOT to use consistent and strategic communications to reinforce public trust in NDOT and NDOT's focus on safety and connection with the public.

Key messages for the plan are: NDOT takes a proactive approach to safety in the community; the roads and highways NDOT builds connect all Nevadans; and NDOT is accessible to the public. NDOT Communications Director Sean Sever said, "The work the NDOT Communications Division does already portrays the Department in a positive light, but something was missing from our overall communications strategy. We needed a brand and communications plan. That's where the Journalism School came in."

"I approached my former Professor Bob Felten about having a class take NDOT on as a class client," Sever said. "The rest is history and the students exceeded all expectations for this project." NDOT Transportation Board members praised the presentation style, skill, passion, creativity and level of professionalism the Journalism students embodied.

"The strategy the students laid out can help NDOT get to zero fatalities," NDOT Transportation Board Member Tom Skancke said. "It is a creative and thoughtful way to remind the public that they have to stay connected. Closer connections with NDOT means being better informed which helps keep the public safe."

"This work is of great benefit to the State and when NDOT incorporates the plan these talented, passionate students designed, they will have the satisfaction in knowing they have made Nevada a better, safer place," Governor Brian Sandoval said.

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