ECU Communications to promote E-Verify service

WASHINGTON: ECU Communications is ramping up its effort to promote E-Verify, a system developed by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (UCIS) to determine employment eligibility.

WASHINGTON: ECU Communications is ramping up its effort to promote E-Verify, a system developed by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (UCIS) to determine employment eligibility.

The agency launched a national campaign late last month promoting the Internet-based system that allows businesses to check whether their employees can legally work in the US. A second campaign, focused on Self Check, an E-Verify service that allows an individual to check his or her own eligibility, will launch Thursday.

The use of E-Verify is mandatory for some federal agencies and certain public- and private-sector employers in some states. Lawmakers are debating bills in other states that would make the system mandatory there as well. Nationwide, more than 250,000 employers at more than 850,000 worksites use the program.

UCIS, a part of the US Department of Homeland Security, wants to reach more of the US population about the service through the campaigns. ECU won the account to bolster promotional efforts for E-Verify in late 2011, following a competitive RFP process. The three-year contract is worth more than $10 million.

As part of the contract, ECU's campaigns must ultimately use high-profile public- and private-sector individuals. The firm must also coordinate educational events. It will hold an event this Thursday in Orlando to highlight the launch of Self-Check.

The firm is also using Internet and social media to distribute information about the platform and encourage consumer feedback. Much of the communications developed by the firm must be multi-lingual.

ECU has gone beyond translating messages in several languages to try to better understand various ethnic groups and cultures, said Jacqueline Krick, president of ECU Communications.

“We get extremely up close to understand our target audience,” she said. “A simple line translation will not work. You've got to know the different cultures.”

A UCIS representative could not be reached for comment.

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