WAVE PR to help Safetyforum.com develop media branding strategy

WASHINGTON: Safetyforum. com has picked WAVE PR to help put it in the fast lane after the Web site helped bring the Bridgestone/Firestone tire case into public scrutiny.

WASHINGTON: Safetyforum. com has picked WAVE PR to help put it in the fast lane after the Web site helped bring the Bridgestone/Firestone tire case into public scrutiny.

WASHINGTON: Safetyforum. com has picked WAVE PR to help put it in the fast lane after the Web site helped bring the Bridgestone/Firestone tire case into public scrutiny.

WAVE PR has been hired to develop and implement a media strategy over the next six months to brand the four-year-old site, which serves as a resource for attorneys and researchers focusing on consumer products with dubious safety records.

Safetyforum.com's founder is former Insurance Institute for Highway Safety researcher Ralph Hoar, who has jousted with companies such as Nissan and Chrysler over automotive safety. He also has worked with auto safety advocates, including Joan Claybrook, former administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, who now heads the public interest group Public Citizen.

Automotive News noted in 1994 that Hoar preferred a 'low-key approach.' However he is now interested in stepping up his profile and that of his Web site in the wake of this year's events.

Safetyforum.com started examining the Firestone case in February and has remained active since. But even though the number of visitors to Safetyforum.com has increased due to its role in the Firestone case, Hoar is looking for more visibility for the site's research.

'Something has to be done to show what (Safetyforum.com) did in this international situation,' said Dave Wieme, WAVE vice president. 'We want to show the cause and effect relationship between putting information on the Web site and consumers' and lawyers' behavior.'

The plan calls for developing a case study and timeline of the actions taken by Safetyforum. com in the Firestone case.

'We want to get that case study to automotive, legal and opinion writers,' said Wieme.

The plan also involves outreach efforts aimed at the attorneys Safetyforum.com relies on as resources for information. Attorneys pay a fee to use an Internet site that provides in-depth details about allegedly faulty products.

Safetyforum.com started posting information about Firestone earlier this year.

This led to even more information about the tires being made public before attorney Tab Turner, a Hoar ally, launched his lawsuit against the company this summer. Turner's actions are what ultimately brought widespread public attention to the case.



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