Creating Policy for the People

Mineta Transportation Institute

Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) is a research institute focusing on issues related to intermodal transportation in the US. MTI provides transit officials and policymakers with important insights into security threats against trains, buses, and other surface transportation. MTI relies on Meltwater for critical keyword searches and news release distribution.

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The Challenge

Increasing Insight and Accountability

As a research institute, MTI is responsible for finding, generating, and sharing transportation reports and solutions with the general public and government agencies. Before switching to Meltwater, MTI distributed news releases through PR Newswire, which allowed no personalization and returned disappointing results. It offered no metrics to benchmark against, making it difficult for MTI to prove its effectiveness to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) and earn an increase in funding.

MTI’s value to the Department of Homeland Security also suffered. The research institute couldn’t effectively monitor keywords in news items, limiting their ability to contribute to the world’s largest database on transportation-related terrorist activity.

Meltwater’s detailed media contact profiles are invaluable. Previously, we were using PR Newswire’s ‘throw it at the wall’ service because it was affordable. But it wasn’t targeted.

Donna Maurillo
Donna Maurillo Director of Communications and Technology Transfer, Mineta Transportation Institute

The Solution

Finding Safety in Numbers

Today MTI uses Meltwater’s contact database to build highly targeted media contact lists that allow more personalized distribution. Post-distribution, dashboard metrics give MTI’s communications team greater visibility into the reach of their news releases. They can also measure their progress in attaining their goal of 150 media stories annually and report in more detail to the DOT.

These improvements in visibility are accompanied by real increases in public safety. Today MTI is better equipped to monitor surface transportation issues globally. Key articles on terrorism and transportation feed directly into its internal database, which is accessible to the Department of Homeland Security.

MTI’s Karen Philbrick says, “The search component has been imperative for populating our database of terrorist activity against surface transportation targets.”

We use the Meltwater search engine to find global media stories that have our keywords, whether it’s ‘bomb,’ ‘explosives,’ ‘terrorist,’ ‘surface transportation,’ you name it.

Karen Philbrick
Karen Philbrick Executive Director, Mineta Transportation Institute

The Results

Meltwater Enables Mineta Transportation Institute to

Key

Effectively target media for increased news release distribution

Key

Benchmark performance to meet federal requirements

Key

Populate a government-funded database using Meltwater search

Meltwater Helps MTI

  • 1

    Generate more media coverage to deliver on its mission

    “Our media coverage is now so good that MTI is often pointed to as the best-performing of all the university research centers in our category. This coverage compels people to download our research reports—paid for with taxpayer money—and use them for policymaking.” – Donna Maurillo, Director of Technology Transfer

  • 2

    Leverage global searches for use in anti-terrorism efforts

    “We use Meltwater to search for global stories that focus on critical incidents and terrorist activity on buses, trains, and other surface transportation targets. This information has been imperative for populating our database of terrorist activity.” – Karen Philbrick, Executive Director

  • 3

    Easily access and modify its platform to meet specific needs

    “Meltwater is accessible and easy to modify for specific needs, and it included an archive of all the material it had located for us. The cost also fit within our small, publicly funded budget.” – Donna Maurillo, Director of Technology Transfer

Product Shot

Media Intelligence Drives Success

Meltwater’s platform provides deep insights to enhance your effectiveness as a PR professional.

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