Communications

A Travel Plan is all about winning hearts and minds and that can take time.

It is about selling the benefits to your employees, suppliers and customers.  Marketing is vital in helping to get people onboard and allowing them to see the personal benefits such as time and cost savings, as well as the broader benefits to the organisation and local community.

A Travel Plan is an ongoing strategy, not a one- off, therefore your marketing support needs to take the same approach. It is about regular, long term communication with your staff.

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Wording is very important

Remember the wording you use to promote your Travel Plan is very important. The development of a Travel Plan involves change and it is important that your employees are not threatened by the measures within your Travel Plan. Make it clear that a Travel Plan is not anti-car or about banning cars, but rather about offering a greater choice and encouraging people to think about their car use. It needs to be seen as fair.

Use words/ phrases like : encourage, support, wider choice.

Constant communication

It is also important to continue to promote your Travel Plan and communicate the success of  the measures that you have implemented, this will give your employees the motivation to continue.   It is about using a range of marketing tools and techniques to get your messages across. This could be everything from incentives and promotions, to poster/leaflet campaigns,  to a newsletter format or through a case study approach, using individuals who have changed their travel habits.

Keeping it fresh

As well as choosing the right language and the right communication channel, it is important that you revitalise your messages over time to keep the interest of your staff and re-ignite their enthusiasm for the Travel Plan.

Who are your audiences?

For your Travel Plan to succeed, you need involvement across the organisation as well as support from external organisations. Therefore, you need to consider both internal and external audiences when implementing your travel planning measures.

Internal Audience

Within your organisation, you need to have support from Senior Management to lower grade employees.  It is important that people feel a sense of “ownership” of the Travel Plan.It is worth breaking down the types of internal audiences that you need to consider:

  • Senior Management  – it is important that they are seen to lead by example. As well as Senior Management involvement, it is important to work across departments.  Finance, Estates/Facilities, Human Resources and Fleet Management are all departments that you will need to work closely with.
  • Employees  (all grades) – need to be inclusive. It is important to include Trade Union representatives so any travel planning measures are seen as fair and consultative.
  • Mode Groups  – you need to ensure you are representative of each of the modes – drivers, walkers, cyclists, public transport users.

Your  Employee Travel Survey  will give you a lot of information about the different target groups that
you need to concentrate on. It will give you an idea of how strongly people feel about different
measures and ideas and what the major issues and concerns are. It is important that your Travel Plan
and marketing activities address these issues and concerns.

External Audiences

There are also external audiences to consider. It is worth remembering that the Travel Plan reflects
on the image of the organisation and as such you need to consider how you target these external
audiences.

  • Local media  -  important when building reputation as a responsible employer.
  • Suppliers  - important that your suppliers are aware and on board with what you are trying to do.
  • Customers  - key that your customers see that you are committed to encouraging sustainable travel and the benefits that it brings to all.
  • Local Community  -  important to be seen to be doing your bit and being mindful of your organisation's impact on the local environment.
  • Local Authority  -  having a robust Travel Plan in place can assist with planning permission applications.

Case studies can be a useful tool when promoting your Travel Plan to both internal and
external audiences.


They can be useful when talking to the local media. Journalists love the real life angle and readers
relate to them, hence making your news story much more interesting.
 
Why not promote colleagues'; stories internally throughout the organisation to encourage and inspire
other users. Thinking about the key messages for employees, you could use case studies to
demonstrate how much money people have saved or how their health has improved.
 
To get started, think about asking those employees who are already using active modes, public
transport or car sharing if they would like to be case studies and share their experiences. As your
Travel Plan initiatives get underway you can then look to target employees who change their travel
behaviour as a result of your initiatives – great success stories.
 
We have developed a  Case Study Questionnaire Template to help you develop your own case
studies. It gives you an indication of the types of questions you need to be asking. It is a bonus if you
are able to get a photo of the case study as well. Just remember to get consent to use their case
study before you proceed.

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Take a look at the Useful Links section for various websites and organisations that can offer you
further useful information and advice.