• Kristin Dispenza and Laura Merritt

A New Twist on How to Implement Social: An Arizona Story

The International Grooving & Grinding Association (IGGA) – a treasured client of ours for more than a decade -- knew it had to act, and act fast, to get people in Arizona to think about pavement. To get the ball rolling, they turned to the AOE team for help in creating an impactful grassroots campaign that would resonate with Arizonans. AOE has long supported IGGA with a wide range of services, including public relations, marketing communications, case studies, social media and more. With this grassroots campaign, we have taken our support to a new level.


Why does IGGA want Arizonans to think about pavement? People generally don’t think about pavement until they have a bad experience. Increased noise, potholes, flying rocks, road closures for perpetual maintenance and costs—all of which can turn your travel from a dream to a nightmare. These bad experiences are becoming more commonplace in Arizona due to a degradation in the condition of Arizona roads in recent years.


In 2018, 43 percent of Arizona’s major roads were in poor or mediocre condition. Driving on poorly maintained roads costs Arizona drivers $3 billion a year in extra vehicle repairs and operating costs. Unnecessary expenditures such as asphalt rubber siphon taxpayer dollars away from other vital infrastructure needs. As road conditions continue to deteriorate, the challenge to fix Arizona freeways has become more important than ever.


IGGA and AOE understood this challenge and knew that the solution lay in creating an impactful grassroots campaign—one that would give Arizona residents and businesses a voice in the future of their roads. As a result, The Coalition for Responsible Roads was born. The Coalition encourages Arizonans to support the effort to responsibly manage the state’s roads and be part of the solution.


An effective grassroots campaign must have a clear mission, connect with diverse people from different communities, appeal to those peoples’ passions, clearly define its purpose (the “why”) and listen. Recognizing these important components, AOE worked with IGGA to develop an engaging and informative website (www.freewaynoise.com), visual assets including an infographic, key messages and a location-based marketing strategy that includes a comprehensive social media plan.


In addition to informing the public about Arizona’s road conditions, challenges and options, the website provides visitors with valuable resources including fact sheets, articles, and sample letters and call scripts for those who wish to make their voices heard by local public officials.


The social media plan includes a steady flow of relevant content posted to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter from the Coalitions’ social accounts. In addition, AOE created Facebook ads designed to specifically engage those in targeted Arizona communities.


To successfully connect with social media audiences, our message must remain meaningful and evolve as necessary, and we must listen. By listening to our audience through their comments generated from posts and ads, we can adjust our approach and messaging. This ensures that we continue to engage with people in a meaningful way and acknowledge what’s important to them.


As the campaign enters its sixth month, we continue to see our efforts pay off. Our Coalition is growing as more sign up and join. And we are reaching decision-makers. In a recent example, a public official shared his interest in learning more through a Facebook ad comment. We successfully arranged a one-on-one conversation between the official and IGGA, creating a great opportunity for continued dialogue and relationship-building.


If you would like to learn more about our work with The Coalition for Responsible Roads, please visit www.freewaynoise.comm, and be sure to follow the Coalition on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. To explore how to use social media as part of your integrated campaign, contact AOE today!