Education and collaboration have proven to be the keys to success for Rio Metro Regional Transit District’s Marketing Department since the start of the pandemic. Their campaigns demonstrating commitment to public health and safety and the awareness of public transportation received 8 awards in 2021.
The awards came from national and regional transit organizations as well as the International Academy of Visual Arts (IAVA).
A Focus on Education
“The Marketing Department had to think differently about keeping our presence in the community and communicating with our riders and followers,” said Allyne Clarke, Marketing Director for the Rio Metro, referring to the fact that there were many changes to train and bus service throughout the year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We focused on more educational projects”.
These included producing rail safety videos and a COVID-19 transit safety public service announcement, creating downloadable activity sheets for kids, and providing outreach and a resource website for the Freedom to Ride Veterans and Active-Duty Military Program.
“One of the projects I’m most proud of is the New Mexico Transit COVID-19 PSA campaign,” said Clarke. “It won two awards – one from a regional association and the other from an international organization. The PSA was developed in support of reinforcing the federal and state’s guidelines to wear face covering while riding public transportation. The video included American Sign Language, subtitles, and was also done in Spanish, and ran on several broadcast and cable channels. Across the state, the PSA aired on multiple radio stations.”
Another successful campaign was the Rail Safety Week educational video series, which won three awards. The campaign featured seven videos designed to prevent trespassing and educated the public about how to reduce injuries and fatalities at rail crossings and stations. The Rail Runner’s mascot, Trax, did an excellent job in conveying those messages.
Collaboration is Key
For marketing awards, competition can be fierce. Clarke cites her department’s collaboration as their key to making campaigns stand out.
“We are fortunate to have a very talented graphic designer on staff who works closely with the project team member and is able to bring to life what we have visualized in our heads. Just as important, we think of the audience we’re trying to reach and how it would appeal to them emotionally. The result is very creative award-winning projects, whether in print or a campaign,” she said.
A History of Awards
The department has a history of winning awards going back 10+ years. They can boast taking home the Southwest Transit Association’s Grand Prize Spotlight Award three times, have won numerous first and second place awards in regional and national competitions, and have received no less than 33 awards from the IAVA Communicator Awards.
Each entity has different criteria and categories. “We certainly don’t start out thinking of a project as award-winning material, but at the end, we think it could be and are able to find a category that fits in the award selection,” said Clarke.
In 2021 alone, her department received six IAVA Communicator Awards. “For us to win that many in one year during a pandemic with limited transit service, was a real honor,” said Clarke.
View all of the winning entries on the Rio Metro website.