Real ID Advice
How have you communicated about Real ID implementation to the public in your jurisdiction?
Jenna Wamsganz, Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles
Alaska has a set of unique challenges due to the remote nature of some of the communities in our state. For that reason, we’ve chosen to use several different communication mediums. We partnered with news organizations to run Real ID stories on the local level, attended conferences tailored to our rural communities, participated in social media outreach and also sent out postcards to customers with ID renewals coming up, to name a few.
The best advice I can give to other jurisdictions is to make sure that they have clear, concise document guidelines that are easy to understand by the public and their employees and to make sure they get that information to their customers before they come into their locations so they aren’t forced to send customers away.
Jennifer Gonzalez, Idaho Transportation Department
Idaho launched its campaign specific to the availability of Star Cards ahead of the Jan. 2 2018 issuance date. That included paid ads on various platforms: Facebook, Pandora, Spotify and radio spots. In addition, we shared information through statewide media channels via press releases, social media posts, on camera interviews, etc. Our website is quite comprehensive and we really encouraged folks to visit itd.idaho.gov/starcard and use the Star Card tool to learn about the materials that are necessary in order to apply for the card.
This year, ITD is looking to target airport advertising opportunities at our airports statewide as part of that marketing. Airport advertising definitely appears to be on the higher end of the spectrum (cost-wise).
ITD will be relying on and continue to utilize free media opportunities. Our plan intends to focus moving forward on the very real threat that if you don’t have a Star Card come Oct. 2020, you might not be able to board a flight for a family trip to Disneyland (hypothetical) or you might miss a job interview out of town. Again, it’s to reinforce the fact that “hey, we’re not kidding about this.”
Idaho also worked proactively with the TSA to get our informational posters placed at airports in Idaho before you enter security.
Naitore Djigbenou, Office of Public Affairs, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet
In Kentucky, the implementation of the new Real ID compliant cards is among one of many changes we are making to the production and issuance of credentials. We are moving to a single issuance production facility (meaning cards will be mailed) and are extending the lifespan of cards to eight years. We are also offering people the option between a Real ID compliant credential and a non-compliant credential (a requirement of legislation passed that allowed us to offer the new cards).
We branded the entire initiative as Confident Kentucky to communicate a sense of assurance that the new cards are more secure. The initiative launched in August 2018. This is not an exhaustive list but will give you a sense of some of our efforts.
- We developed a dedicated website the public can visit to learn about all of the changes. https://drive.ky.gov/confidentky/Pages/default.aspx.
- Partnered with Commission of Deaf and Hard of Hearing to create a video featuring a sign language interpreter interviewing a member of our project team.
- Purchasing billboards that will be posted for four weeks the week before each county is set to begin offering the cards (we are doing a phased county-by-county rollout to all 120 counties that begins mid-march to May).
- Running ads on Facebook and Instagram; regular organic posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
- Will begin running video ads on YouTube and other sites in the coming month.
- Communicate with legislators and ask them to share social media posts.
- Give presentations to stakeholder groups.
- Printed brochures, posters and rack cards for Circuit Court Clerk offices and public libraries.
- Exhibitor Tables at state fair, large conferences.
- Work with our six commercial airports to place printed and digital signage about initiative; provided them with printed rack cards.
- Running :15 and :30 radio spots on Kentucky Public Radio stations, iheart radio stations (and streaming stations) and Kentucky News Network; have ran 3 :60 Audio News Releases on Kentucky News Network.
- Press releases and interviews with the media.
- Wrote articles to run in newsletters and printed publications of stakeholder groups: AAA, Kentucky Trucking Association, Kentucky Law Enforcement Magazine, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, etc.
- In January we began mailing postcards that are sent to Kentuckians at the beginning of their six month renewal window.
Paul Grimaldi, Rhode Island Department of Revenue
Our communications plan has three broad parts:
- Legislative/interagency education/coordination at the state/municipal level
- Outreach to industry/trade/civic organizations
- Earned/paid media
The goal with the first two parts is to develop information conduits and enlist ambassadors who can amplify our messaging. The earned/paid media campaign is aimed at general constituent education about the goals of Real ID and the application requirements.
Given our launch date of Dec. 3, 2018, we began outreach in October with one-on-one and small group meetings. (Those will continue into the spring.) We wanted to avoid our public messaging getting lost in the noise around the 2018 election cycle and the commercial holiday advertising blitz. It also gave us time to make sure our operational processes are in order before our offices get hit with large numbers of Real ID applicants.
We launched our paid media campaign after New Year’s Day. The first phase will continue for six months. It includes social media video, radio ads, billboards and mass-transit signage. With a limited budget, we chose to run the ads serially as opposed to concurrently, for the most part. The ad spend will be more significant in Fiscal Year 2020.
We’ve layered the paid media with a traditional earned media campaign—a launch press release, Op-Ed submission, radio/TV interviews and print media pitching.
As for advice, expect to field a lot of questions, and many of the same ones repeatedly. People can be confused about how there is a deadline (Oct. 1, 2020) for an “optional” program. There are also nuances to the document requirements that have to be explained. We have an extensive Q&A on a dedicated Real ID web page.
Be prepared as well for pushback from constituents who pull discussions about Real ID into the national political debate. We circle back to the fact that getting a Real ID credential is optional.