PSI was awarded the Public Information Specialist contracts for three South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) reconstruction projects. The projects include:

• Highway 85/Main Street reconstruction in Lead, SD
• Highway 85/Cemetery Street reconstruction in Deadwood, SD
• Jackson Boulevard reconstruction in Rapid City, SD

The projects ran for two to three years each.

The Public Information Specialist serves as the liaison between the public, the city, emergency services, the media, the SDDOT, and the contractor. The goal of this program was to efficiently and accurately disseminate information throughout the Black Hills region and keep stakeholders informed of the project’s progress, traffic control, and any issues that arose.

PSI uses a variety of mediums to communicate with the project’s target audiences. The most successful types of communication included public meetings, open question forums, designated project websites, social media, and traditional media, including television, radio, newspapers, and pre-recorded phone messages. The Public Information Specialist communicated with project stakeholders on a daily basis and managed the public information phone line and websites.

As the Public Information Specialist for the reconstruction project, there were two main challenges. The first challenge is coordinating information with multiple offices. In addition to communicating with the public, PSI was expected to coordinate with several contacts from the Cities of Lead, Deadwood, and Rapid City, multiple contacts from the SDDOT, private engineering firms, affected business owners, and the project contractors. The second challenge was communicating information to a public audience that has a large amalgamation of people. PSI was successful in these challenges because of our systemized approach to communicating. We address each audience’s communication needs, and tracked communication with every single group/office/person.

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