OReGO Road Usage Charge Launch
Marketing a Pioneering Transportation Funding Program
Drawing on the success of Oregon’s Road Usage Charge Pilot Program in 2012-2013, the state passed legislation (Senate Bill 810) establishing the nation’s first mileage-based revenue program for light vehicles. Diminishing fuel tax returns led Oregon decision-makers back to the drawing board to create a fair, reliable source of revenue to fund transportation projects for all Oregonians. The result is OReGO. The Oregon Department of Transportation hired PRR to develop strategies and tactics to educate, engage and persuade interested Oregonians to accept the pay-per-mile concept as sustainable and necessary for Oregon and inspire potential volunteers to participate.
Employed a full suite of research to inform a comprehensive marketing communications plan, including surveys and focus groups.
Created a phased plan to guide the implementation of communications strategies to drive understanding and support for OReGO.
Brand Creation & Design
Conducted branding focus groups and design workshops to create the OReGO brand platform and logo, used to market the program throughout the state.
Strategic Media Briefings
Coordinated and secured media briefings through with Oregon media and national media, resulting in a steady drum beat of informative content.
PRR and ODOT conducted a full suite of research to inform a comprehensive Marketing Communications Plan encompassing all disciplines. Our research found that in order to gain acceptance, successful communication campaigns need to educate the public on the benefits, purpose, and logistics of a Road Usage Charge Program. Several research strategies in this comprehensive plan showed that presentations and messages about the fairness of road usage charging significantly changed participant minds and increased their support for the program. The result of this research is now part of the standard templates for the Western Road Usage Charge Consortium covering 11 western states. In addition, the OReGO brand PRR created has been featured in over 100 national and regional media placements.
What's the Story with Oregonian Opinions?
In partnership with DHM Research, PRR conducted branding focus groups and design workshops to create an OReGO brand that is confident, quirky, adventurous and service-oriented. We also conducted a Statewide Listening Tour with stakeholders from seven locations around Oregon, a phone survey, stakeholder interviews, and focus groups with people opposed to road charging. Opinions on this funding model varied, from generally positive to vehemently opposed. There were many misconceptions about the program. Reactions like these were considered carefully by ODOT and the Oregon Legislature, leading the state to partner with PRR for strategic communications and marketing.