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blog: TDM Covid-19 Recovery Plan: Marketing Support for TfWM

Author: Kirsty Guttridge

ITP is currently working with Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) and their Travel Demand Management (TDM) / Travel Choices Team to support work with key businesses and employees as we ease out of the Covid-19 lockdown in the UK. As part of TfWM’s Recovery Plan, ITP is assisting with marketing and communications elements to ensure clear travel messages are delivered to both employers and employees in order to encourage travel behaviour change at a critical stage.

Cyclist Medium

The virtual secondment position is allowing ITP to offer marketing and communications expertise in an ever-changing environment as the Government regularly release updated advice for businesses and the public. The nature of the situation has meant ITP has had to provide a responsive and adaptive service to the client to ensure the most appropriate content is shared and the most suitable communications approach is being taken.

So why is it important for TfWM and ITP to communicate with businesses in a targeted, clear and concise way?

During this pandemic and as we ease out of it, businesses and employees have been bombarded with information from all sorts of organisations. It is important to ensure the information we provide is clear, useful and easy to digest for businesses and employees. By using a range of methods, we ensure that the information is accessible for all employers and employees whether they have access to the internet or not and whether they are working from home or having to travel into work. Our messaging is heavily connected to the “4Rs”, a longstanding Travel Demand Management principle:

  • Reroute
  • Retime
  • Remode
  • Reduce (or Remove)

In the world of travel behaviour change, it is widely accepted that key life changes are the most effective stage to work with a person and encourage them to consider the way they travel. The coronavirus pandemic, while creating a terrible situation for people to contend with in their daily lives, has also created an opportunity for people to really consider both their travel mode but also their health and lifestyle choices.

By targeting information, it is hoped that ITP can support TfWM in creating a new wave of walkers, cyclists and of course public transport users when things do eventually return to normal.

Some of the key pieces of work produced by ITP so far in this project include:

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  • Segmentation of existing and potential contact lists in order to define key sectors and groups to target tailored communications. For example, segmenting non-essential retail locations and highlighting businesses in close proximity to TfWM’s Key Route Network (KRN) using GIS.
  • Keeping abreast of ever-changing government guidance, digesting this information and what it will mean for businesses and then converting this into simple and clear advice.
  • Producing bespoke and personalised mailshot campaigns within Campaign Monitor (an online platform, used for sending out email campaigns/newsletters) to send to businesses as each sector is released from lockdown. The first example of this was a mailshot sent to the non-essential retail group as they prepared for staff to return to work in mid-June.
  • Creating “Recovery Support Packs” – these packs include information designed specifically to each sector. For example, the Recovery Support Pack for the public and private sector businesses, who are office based usually, is more focused on working from home tips and motivation tricks as opposed to returning to work safely as we know these businesses are likely to adopt a new ‘working from home normal’. The packs have been designed in accordance with the TfWM and West Midlands Network brand guidelines using Adobe InDesign software.

Alongside the above, ITP is continuing to support the team at TfWM as and when they require input. While the main purpose of our support is to ensure communications within the Recovery Plan are targeted and support businesses in the best way possible, we are also supporting in other areas such as providing top tips for producing and running webinars, how to make the most out of Campaign Monitor software and much more.

In addition to this role, ITP is supporting the delivery of the Emergency Active Travel Fund (EATF) at TfWM, through two coordination roles, for their Infrastructure and Communications elements, and the Supporting Measures. TfWM secured over £3million divided into capital and revenue allocation. The allocation will support active travel measures being built, communications, safety and schemes to encourage businesses and individuals to become more active across the West Midlands. The roles provided by ITP are coordinating the delivery of these projects, working alongside TfWM and local authorities to set up programme management and support the Tranche 1 delivery.

If you would like to find out more about marketing and communications support that ITP can offer, particularly related to recovery plans and post-Covid 19 engagement, please contact us.


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