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Cocktails and Candidates: A Post Election Perspective

25 Oct

PRSA Idaho Presents: Cocktails and Candidates
A post-election perspective on campaign communications

What does it take  to win? The dust from the 2010 elections has settled, but we’re still wondering: What worked and what didn’t? Hear from the spokesmen for the Idaho governor’s race how they leveraged old and new campaign tactics to share their candidate’s platform, persuade voters, maximize media opportunities and present the best message, every day.

Ryan Panitz and Shea Andersen represented Butch Otter and Keith Allred, respectively. They’ll describe their jobs, their strategies and take your questions about what worked and what didn’t. Want the inside scoop on the changing landscape of political communications? They’ve got it.

WHEN: Thursday, November 4 5:00p.m. to 6:30p.m.
WHERE: Berryhill, 121 N 9th St. Boise
Shea Andersen, communications director, Allred for Idaho
Shea is the director of communications for Allred for Idaho, the campaign of Keith Allred. He has been an award-winning reporter and editor in Idaho and numerous other Western states. He is also past president of the Southwest Chapter of the Idaho Press Club. Shea holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from the Colorado College and a Master’s degree in Journalism from the University of Oregon.

Ryan Panitz, communications director, Otter for Idaho
A University of Missouri School of Journalism graduate, Ryan spent years on camera as an anchor and reporter in Idaho and Iowa, winning multiple awards in both states. He also worked in sports production with FOX Sports, ABC/ESPN, and CBS Sports that included multiple Super Bowls, MLB All-Star & playoff games, and NHL Stanly Cup Playoffs.  Ryan then managed sponsorship sales and integrated marketing campaigns for the Special Olympics National and World Games.

Ysabel Bilbao, regional integrated communications officer, University of Idaho
Ysabel is an award winning journalist who has covered news throughout Idaho, most recently at KTVB News Group as anchor for the Saturday Morning News and as a reporter focusing primarily on crime, courts, and the legislature.  Before joining KTVB, Ysabel worked as a general assignment reporter for KIFI in Idaho Falls.  In her new role at the University of Idaho, Ysabel focuses on communication and media initiatives in southern and eastern Idaho.  Along with getting the general news of the University out into the public, Ysabel works to support the University’s legislative agenda. Ysabel is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Telecommunications.

RSVP to or on Facebook required by November 1.
Registration is $10.00 and includes Berryhill appetizers and beverage tickets.  Payable at the door by cash or check only.

Along for the I-way Ride

3 Oct

Recently, I had the opportunity to tag along with the Neighborhood All-Stars camera crew while they filmed the I-way videos about mobility options available throughout Idaho. (I-way is a growing statewide system that connects people in Idaho through an exciting mix of transportation options, giving Idaho an economic and quality-of-life advantage, while helping keep our state clean and beautiful.) I should also admit, I coaxed my husband, Tad to accompany me as well. I told him it was a business trip to Sun Valley, which it was true, with just a few stops before we got to Sun Valley and a quick trip to Driggs afterwards. The first leg of our trip was an overnight stop in Twin Falls; in the morning we were up at 5:00 a.m. and headed to Shoshone, Idaho where we interviewed vanpool riders that rode the van from Shoshone to Hailey and Ketchum.

In Shoshone, we met Mary, a local resident of Shoshone who rides the vanpool to Hailey, about an hour drive. She spoke to us about her easy accessibility to the vanpool, the friendly vanpool riders and how much she enjoys sitting back and relaxing as she rides to work. She doesn’t have to worry about traffic and she also has the chance to close her eyes and catch up on some sleep if needed. Mary also mentioned that riding the vanpool saves her significant amounts of money –  she doesn’t have to worry about spending money on gas, car check-ups, and new tires. I forgot how much gas money alone adds up, Mary was spending close to $400 a month on gas alone.

After we filmed Mary we drove to Ketchum and filmed Nathan, a young landscape architect who also rode from Shoshone (same as Mary!) to Ketchum. I was caught off guard meeting Nathan because he was younger then I had expected. I pictured people who rode the vanpool middle-aged or older, Nathan was in his late twenties. Nathan started riding the vanpool when the gas prices started to climb drastically a few summers ago. The vanpool gives extra life to Nathan’s marriage, when he gets home he isn’t tired and cranky like he used to be. He has extra energy to do chores around the house after work, when normally after driving for an hour; he would go straight to bed exhausted. I feel the same way after driving twenty minutes home, I couldn’t imagine an hour long commute.

Speaking of long commutes, after we wrapped up filming Nathan, we had to pack it up and head to Driggs, roughly about 250 miles away. I was extremely proud of myself for making it in 3.5 hours, although he will never admit it, Tad was impressed too. We had the night to explore Driggs since we weren’t filming until the next morning. We went to the notorious Spud Drive-in (did you know it was featured on the Food Network program Diners, Drive-ins and Dives?), It was a cool location, surrounded by the Teton Mountains and the food was amazing.

Bright and early the next day we were at it again. We met Tim, the Executive Director for Teton Valley Trails and Pathways. He informed us of the importance of pathways and trails for rural communities. He spoke about the positive economic impact pathways and trails; they not only help to bring in tourists but provide locals with easy access to recreational activities. Utilizing the pathways to get to the mountain trails helps reduce carbon footprint. I never thought of directly riding my bike to the Boise foothill trails, Tad and I always drive to the foothills, park our car, and then go riding. Listening to Tim was an eye opener for me, I started to think of ways that I could change my habits to be more environmentally conscious.

After wrapping up Tim’s interview, he introduced us to Kim and her two kids. Kim, a Communications Specialist and an avid biker lives in Driggs and frequently rides her bike with her family through the Teton Valley. She spoke about the importance of trails and pathways, especially with today’s rising epidemic with children’s obesity, Kim makes her children’s health a priority and having readily available biking paths and trailways is a benefit for her and her family. I was impressed with Kim, she is a wife, working mother of two and still has time to play and incorporate exercise into her children’s lives. We said goodbye to Kim and the kids, jumped in the car and headed home to Boise for a few days rest before we started on our travels again.

Our next stop was the Gem County Senior Center in Emmett, Idaho, where we visited with senior citizens and how they utilize the shuttle to function in their daily lives.  I met two of the cutest ladies, Zeda and Peggy who frequent the Gem County Senior Center almost daily. They use the shuttle for their every day living – including trips to the grocery store, hairdressers and the bank. Zeda and Peggy mentioned how much fun riding the shuttle was, that it was the most thrilling part of their day. Their driver, Jerry really makes their trips fun and exciting. The Gem County Senior Center is a great place for all of them to come together, have lunch and play bingo. It was obvious that fun times don’t stop as you get older – at least not with these ladies!

During my time on the road, getting to know all the different types people throughout Idaho that utilize alternative mobility was a blast. Although it wasn’t a lot of time, I learned a lot of about what I can do to help the environment and myself.  I’ve searched out mobility alternatives for my commute to and from work. I’m considering joining a vanpool to reduce my own driving time.. I’m constantly telling my friends about my experience and hopefully they will reduce their carbon footprint, save some money, and help support I-way’s mission to improve mobility options in Idaho!

– Gloria Miller

Unscrambling the acronyms of Idaho’s mobility movement

2 Jun

August 17, 2009 – my first day at Red Sky, and unbeknownst to me, I am about to enter the “enter at your own risk” world of public transportation acronyms. It would take weeks (maybe months) for me to unscramble this mish-mash of letters being thrown at me minute-by-minute.

“CTAI is working with the LMMNs, DCCs, PTAC, and IWG to improve mobility options in Idaho.” OK.  Great.  Can someone please tell me what the heck that means?!

I considered making flash cards – luckily it didn’t quite come to that, and now I find myself throwing around acronyms with the best of them, much to the dismay of my family and co-workers.

So, for all of you that are unfamiliar with acronym-ese, below you will find brief explanations of a few key “terms” that one needs to know when engaging in conversation with anyone involved in public transportation and mobility efforts in Idaho.  Ready?  There will be a test later…

Mobility – provides ways to move people from point A to point B in a convenient and cost-effective manner using a mix of transportation modes.

I-way – I-way is a growing statewide system that connects people in Idaho through a mix of transportation options.  I-way is the grass-roots effort starting in local communities to improve mobility options through coordination and partnership throughout Idaho.

CTAI (Community Transportation Association of Idaho) – The statewide nonprofit membership association dedicated to improving mobility in Idaho.

LMMN (Local Mobility Management Network) – There are 17 local mobility networks that cover the entire state of Idaho. Each network is comprised of local leaders, citizens, providers, service agencies, and other transportation stakeholders.  These local stakeholders evaluate mobility options and develop strategies to best meet their community’s unique mobility needs and values.

DCC (District Coordination Council) – Across the state there are six District Coordination Councils supporting the coordinated mobility efforts of two or more local mobility networks by providing leadership and guidance focused on improving coordination, integration, partnerships, and leveraging Idaho’s limited mobility resources. DCC weaves together mobility plans from the networks within their district to create district-wide strategies.

PTAC (Public Transportation Advisory Council) – This council provides the highest level of coordination, integration, and partnerships by weaving together all community, district, and statewide strategies and priorities to create an integrated mobility system throughout Idaho.

IWG (Interagency Working Group) – This council is comprised of 11 state agencies working to develop strategies for eliminating procedural and regulatory barriers to coordination at the state level, supporting an integrated mobility system throughout Idaho.

ITD (Idaho Transportation Department)The Division of Public Transportation is a department of ITD.  The Division of Public Transportation administers grants in support of local mobility network and district coordination strategies.

FTA (Federal Transit Administration) – An agency within the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) that provides financial and technical assistance to local public transit systems.

Of course there are other terms and acronyms to know, but if you can unscramble these in a conversation, you will be WAY ahead of where I was on August 17, 2009.

It’s crazy.  I never imagined I’d ever say: “Let me know when the DCC has reviewed the LMMN strategies for FY 2011 FTA 5310 funding.”  Let alone know what that meant!  But, on my first day, and every day since, I’ve learned something new about mobility and transportation – the political aspects of public transportation, funding priorities, provider challenges, and opportunities for partnerships/coordination.  Perhaps most importantly, I’ve learned that thousands of people across our state are passionate about improving our options for getting from point A to point B – no matter where we live or work in Idaho – and are challenging the status quo as they look at ways to make better use of what we have today and create something better tomorrow.

– Jenn Connor