8 ways to a great road safety campaign

Many safety campaigns fail to fully achieve their desired goals, not hitting the spot with the public and unable to properly engage with other organisations or media in a quest for support. Over the last five years we’ve been at the heart of one of the biggest annual road safety campaigns providing PR and marketing know-how, as well as organisational support in engaging with motorists and bringing the campaign to life.

So we’ve put together eight hints and tips on how to get the most from your campaigns and make sure they hit the right spot.

1. Partnerships

No one can achieve great things alone and so striking up partnerships with other groups who share your ambitions is vital in order to help spread the message as far as possible. As the old saying goes, if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go further, go together.

2. Messaging

One clear message is all that is needed for a truly successful campaign. Trying to generate awareness on multiple issues will only serve to confuse the public. For a truly memorable campaign that sticks in the minds of your audience, try to make your message as visual as possible. For example, who can forget “clunk click, every trip”- incredibly simple but devastatingly effective.

3. Call to Action

What is it that you want drivers to change? It’s all very well creating awareness about an issue but give some careful thought about the behaviours you want to modify. Are these expectations realistic? Remember, in general, people want an easy life, so you need to try and make the call to action as simple as possible.

4. Tone

Let’s be honest, no one likes being told what to do, so the tone at which you pitch the campaign is key to the public’s reaction. Advising, not ordering will help to get drivers on side. And can the information be supplied in a creative way or is a traditional form of communication more appropriate?

5. Bigger Picture

It’s important not to get bogged down in extreme details. Highlighting the safety issue or problem, and how this directly affects the driver, is the important thing. How drivers digest the information less important.

6. Timing

It would appear to be an obvious but the timing of the campaign can make or break it. When launching, give your partners as much notification as possible so they can gear themselves up for it and integrate activities into their own plan. See if the planned release of any government data could help the awareness of your campaign, or is another seasonal issue an important factor. Holidays, clocks changing, anniversaries etc. can all provide useful timely hooks.

7. Resources

This isn’t simply a case of big budgets. Some great campaigns have been produced on a shoestring. The important matter is how the money is spent. Filtering money and time into the activities that will provide most impact is the way to go.

8. Co-ordination

Don’t underestimate the amount of time and effort required to co-ordinate a road safety campaign. You’ll need to be highly organised, accessible and very flexible. However, with some clear plans, messages and creative activities that are carefully coordinated, you’ll be amazed what you can achieve.

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