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YouTube outreach: Early returns.

On Monday, we posted a video press release to YouTube on the subject of highway preservation and funding. It’s being described in the media as “KDOT’s first video press release,” which isn’t quite correct; we released a short video a month ago to accompany the announcement that READER’S DIGEST named Kansas roads and highways Number One in America. But I won’t quibble, and anyway the READER’S DIGEST announcement hasn’t attracted half the interest generated by PRESERVATION: The Rough Road Ahead. Yesterday I participated in an interview with Secretary of Transportation Deb Miller by John Milburn of the Associated Press. Miller’s story appeared only a few hours later, and has since been picked up across Kansas. The video has been viewed more than 2,100 times. A brief overview here. It’s testament to the extraordinary interest generated by all things social media–and especially social media in government–that this video has attracted such press attention.

Some concern has been expressed as well, best summarized by the anonymous comment on one of the newspaper sites asking why we were spending money on videos instead of potholes. Happily, PRESERVATION was made in-house by staff in Public Affairs and our Support Services division.

Today I spent 30 minutes on the phone with a reporter from the Lawrence Journal-World working on a story about social media that will likely appear in the next few days; he’s focusing his attention on the newness of the medium, and the emerging market for managers who know how to put together integrated campaigns.

From an entirely personal standpoint, I’m most pleased by the effect the video has had on K-TOC. Traffic is way up over the past couple of days, and we’re seeing a few new members. Good stuff.

More as it develops….

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