Social initiative schools residents in emergency preparedness plans

September marks Emergency Preparedness Month, so the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Emergency Preparedness Bureau sought to increase awareness of its efforts in order to attract extra volunteers to the Massachusetts Emergency Reserve Corps.

Client: Massachusetts Department of Public Health Emergency Preparedness Bureau (Boston, MA)
Agency:
LaVoie Group Strategic Communications (Cambridge, MA)
Budget:
$88,000
Duration:
May-September 2013

September marks Emergency Preparedness Month, so the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Emergency Preparedness Bureau sought to increase awareness of its efforts in order to attract extra volunteers to the Massachusetts Emergency Reserve Corps.

Strategy
LaVoie developed messaging, videos, and social media content that illustrated the importance of emergency preparedness, a key issue to the state after the Boston Marathon bombing.

Tactics
The firm worked with the department to develop Together We're Ready - Massachusetts Prepared, a resource for emergency messaging and preparation techniques on www.mass.gov.

Awareness videos were created and sent to local TV stations and health agencies. One video features a discussion with panelists from Boston Children's Hospital and the Department of Public Health commissioner, among others.

Other videos provided examples of families preparing for emergency situations and information about participating in the volunteer program.

The firm also devised an integrated campaign on social media, leveraging Twitter and the hashtag #ReadyMA on the platform and on press materials, as well as on Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Results
The Massachusetts Reserve Corps added 222 volunteers in September, compared to 57 volunteers gained in July.

The website received more than 2,000 views in its launch month and videos were watched more than 1,000 times on YouTube. Joanne Martel, director of the Greater River Valley Medical Reserve Corps, says the effort successfully got the word out about emergency preparedness.

Future
The department will continue to promote the resources and add content on different emergencies.

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