In This Together workbook - Keeping customers informed
Drivers who are well informed about road construction tend to be
"happy campers," inconvenience notwithstanding. They
understand why the improvements need to be made. They know about
construction before they leave home, rather than being surprised by
the sudden appearance of barricades, orange barrels and Road Closed
They've been told about roads that are closed or restricted, they
follow and sense the construction progress being made, and they've
given some thought to other ways around construction either by
studying the map or checking out possible alternate routes on their
own rather than fuming in frustration as their vehicles sit in a
long line of stop-and-go traffic.
WisDOT has stepped up the flow of roadwork information to the
public. We use changeable electronic message signs to advise drivers
when delays are expected and to safely steer travelers through or
around construction zones. Communications professionals employed at
WisDOT use a variety of techniques to inform drivers about projects,
their value to the public, and traffic detours or
News releases provide valuable background information to news
media. News stories and interviews with TV, radio and newspaper
reporters can be arranged. Major projects with significant traffic
impacts warrant brochures (generally with maps) that clarify the
work ahead, detours, and alternate routes. Telephone recordings are
used to bring inquiring drivers up to date. WisDOT also features
zone information on its Web site.
The following tips can help you keep customers coming through
Put up signs that point the way to your business. WisDOT will
help by permitting businesses to temporarily erect signs in the
highway right of way to reassure customers that businesses are
accessible. Contact the project leader to make certain the sign
you contemplate complies with WisDOT guidelines.
Use simple maps to tell your customers about the best
alternate routes to reach your business. Post them on your doors
and bulletin boards, insert them into billings and other
mailings, and distribute them to your customers who come a long
distance and may be unfamiliar with local streets and roads.
Let the public know you're open for business. Develop
advertisements for newspaper, radio or television. Pool your
resources for group advertising. Advertising cooperatively can
be very cost-effective. Brainstorm for innovative ideas to
promote your business.
How others did it
Here are some ideas that have been used
effectively in other Wisconsin communities:
Hold events prior to construction startup to draw
attention to your area - perhaps a groundbreaking or a
One community started with a "bridge
breaking" ceremony while a band played, "Main
Street Bridge is Falling Down" and hundreds of
residents sang along. The community celebrated, looking
forward to a new bridge and a brighter future.
Work with other businesses to design a logo for the
construction period. It can be used in advertising and
other handout materials.
Run special promotions such as sales, flea markets,
cookouts, block parties, prizes, parades, street dances
or grand finale days.
Develop catchy advertising campaigns featuring
headlines like, "Follow the Road to Savings."
Turn the unpaved street into a makeshift sandbox, golf
course or volleyball court.
Develop shopping incentives such as free hot dogs and
pop or a drawing for a trip or other attractive prize.
Develop hard-hat promotions to sell or give away.
Offer registration into the Hard-Hat Club. Offer
special discounts for club members.
Sell hard-hat lunches to go.
Print placemats and posters that offer directions to
businesses and recommended routes.
Produce a placemat or map that steers customers to
Be creative! There are no limits, so do what works!
Questions about the content of this
Office of Public Affairs,
email@example.com Last modified: November 6, 2012
This sign in Viroqua instructed customers which
businesses they could access through the alley.