The National Safety Council (NSC) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to save lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes, in communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where they can make the most impact – distracted driving, teen driving, workplace safety, prescription drug overdoses and Safe Communities.
According to a recent poll conducted by NSC, 8 out of 10 Americans believe cellphones are addictive. This addiction to mobile devices has a major impact on distracted driving, including driving with hands-free devices.
NSC aimed to create a comprehensive campaign that would raise awareness on safety issues around driving and talking on the phone — both with or without a hands-free device. Eight in 10 drivers mistakenly believe hands-free devices are safer than using a traditional mobile device. NSC wanted to bring awareness to this misconception and help make the roads safer.
The Council conducted research to learn how to tailor a message that would effectively resonate with their target audience: mothers with young children. This research resulted in the campaign tagline #CallsKill.
“Our primary goal with this campaign was to build awareness around distracted driving. Cellphone calls, including hands-free calls, are a source of distraction,” said Kathy Lane, senior director of public relations at NSC. “It’s time to reconcile the cost of being constantly connected with the consequences of risky behavior behind the wheel.”
To develop a compelling, integrated PR and marketing campaign strategy, NSC turned to MultiVu, a creative division within Cision. From video creation to broadcast production and strategic media placement, the MultiVu team handled every aspect of the campaign, designing it to draw awareness to the issue and capture the attention of the target audience.
“Our strategy for this campaign was to reach a targeted audience using an integrated multichannel approach,” Lane said. "We wanted to create compelling content to catch the interest of our audience, and help boost exposure to our message."
The execution of the #CallsKill campaign was based on producing several relevant pieces of content and distributing the elements via relevant strategic channels
The producers and animators at MultiVu, in close collaboration with NSC, created live-action Public Service Announcement (PSA) videos (:30 and :60 seconds) to serve as the centerpiece of the campaign, along with a variety of multimedia content, including a digital animation video and still photography. The team scripted and storyboarded the Council’s videos and radio productions to meet the specific needs of the targeted audience.
“We felt that one of the most effective ways to reach mothers with young children was to create PSA videos and audio with a powerful message highlighting the fact that all forms of communications, from texting to hands free phone conversations, can be distracting in a car,” Lane said. “We wanted the videos to have ‘shock value’ to quickly capture our target audience’s attention and drive them to want to learn more.”
The campaign was launched in early April to coincide with Distracted Driving Awareness Month, a National Safety Council observance. NSC used a Multimedia News Release, a branded landing page and content promotion solution from Cision Distribution by PR Newswire, as a central piece of its campaign launch.
The Multimedia News Release housed key interactive elements of the campaign, including the #CallKills video, all easily downloadable by the public and media. Additionally, several calls-to-action and social media sharing options were included within the landing page to drive engagement. The Multimedia News Release was followed by three additional press releases sent during the month, each highlighting separate aspects of the campaign.
To maximize the reach of the message and to target their audience, an integrated distribution strategy was developed. By working closely with MultiVu’s team of media strategy experts, a custom paid and earned media program was built to place all of the visual assets of the campaign in places they knew their target audience would likely be watching. Elements of the multichannel program include:
TV and radio PSA placements to target a female demographic
Mobile news-scroller: headline appears in a breaking news scroll to mobile viewers on top websites and apps
Content recommendation tools
In-game video placement and retargeting
“Using a multichannel approach was key for us. We quickly realized that our target audience consumes information using various platforms. We wanted to maximize our reach by sending our message using different mediums and channels,” Lane said. “With Cision and PR Newswire’s solutions, we were able to target that specific niche audience within multiple channels.”
Gold Winner in Public Service Announcements Category from AVA Digital Awards, which recognize excellence by creative professionals responsible for the planning, concept, direction, design and production of digital communication.
Engagement: Organic media pick-up from influential publication RealNetworks, Inc.
Total earned media coverage for #CallsKill campaign: 1,055
Total potential audience reach for #CallsKill campaign: 388,833,353
TV and Radio placements:
TV PSA Earned Media – 12.8 million impressions and more than 6,500 airings
Total delivery of 100 million impressions, 31% over guaranteed impressions
Custom landing page – Drove traffic to NSC.org: 5,900 pageviews, 97% more than guaranteed impressions
“Changing common misconception about hands-free calls while driving is a challenging task. By partnering with MultiVu, we were able to target and reach a specific audience, create multiple assets, and distribute our message using a true multichannel approach,” Lane said. “We are pleased with the results of the campaign, and we hope that it continues to raise awareness about distracted driving, and ultimately help save lives.”
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