Philadelphia transit group plans security campaign

CAMDEN, NJ: A coalition of greater Philadelphia mass-transit organizations has picked Oxford Communications to support a public security awareness program.

CAMDEN, NJ: A coalition of greater Philadelphia mass-transit organizations has picked Oxford Communications to support a public security awareness program.

The Philadelphia Area Regional Transit Security Working Group hired the firm to support a campaign that will incorporate elements of the national “If You See Something, Say Something” initiative, as well as localized messaging. The group is made up of officials from Amtrak and Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania transit authorities.

The contact is worth up to $3.2 million and will last at least one year, according to Timothy Ireland, director of corporate communications at the Delaware River Port Authority. His organization helped to oversee the search, which began last September.

“[Oxford had] far and away the best presentation,” Ireland said. “They had the best sense of what needed to be done for the public service campaign.”

Other organizations within the working group are the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, the Delaware River Port Authority, New Jersey Transit, Delaware Transit Corporation, and PennDOT. The six groups provide services to nearly 4.4 million people.

The public will begin to see elements of the campaign this summer, Ireland added. Trenton, NJ-based ad agency EFK Group and reputation and brand management firm Widewaters360 worked on an early phase of the effort.

“I'm sure they had their reasons,” said Bryce Rudolph, president of Widewaters360, about the working group hiring Oxford. A representative from EFK could not be reached for comment.

Staff at Oxford did not immediately return requests seeking comment.

Oxford's outreach effort will encourage citizens to be the eyes and ears of public safety officials and Homeland Security agencies. The firm will be required to create ads that run across TV, radio, and the Internet. It will also identify community events and civic organization meetings for outreach. The agency will also work on messaging development and media relations activities and develop and distribute PR materials, according to the RFP for the account. Oxford will also use social networking websites such as Twitter and Facebook in its campaign.

The agency will also create a regional communications tool, such as a one-call telephone number, which will be used in all future communications and advertising efforts.

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