Current lends Allstate a hand with safe-driving push

The Interpublic Group firm is working on initiatives including the insurer's America's Best Drivers report.

NORTHBROOK, IL: Insurance giant Allstate is getting an assist from Current Marketing as it promotes its multifaceted safe-driving initiative that will run through the end of this year.

One part of the campaign is the company’s 13th annual Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report, unveiled on Tuesday, which encourages safe-driving habits. Allstate is releasing the report, which is based on claims data, in three waves, with additional data drops set for Labor Day and the end of the year.

"We would like to spotlight Allstate’s legacy for safe-driving advocacy in communities nationwide," said Kari Mather, who handles media relations and issues management in corporate relations at Allstate.

This year's three safest cities - Kansas City, Kansas; Brownsville, Texas; and Madison, Wisconsin - retained their spots from last year’s report, with Kansas City jumping ahead of 2016's winner, Brownsville, to earn the title of safest-driving city. The average Kansas City driver is about 32% less likely to experience a collision than the average U.S. driver, according to the report.

Other highlights from the 2017 research include New York City's significant improvement, rising 27 places from last year to the 116th spot. To highlight New York’s new status as a safer place to drive, Allstate held the launch event in the city on Tuesday.

This year was the first that Allstate brought on a PR firm, Current, to execute media relations for the report; historically, Allstate’s internal corporate relations team has led the campaign. The company hired Current after an RFP process that ran from January to March for which it invited 10 firms to pitch.

Allstate decided to employ a PR firm this year because it saw an opportunity to localize its efforts, Mather said.

"There is a lot we are doing already that we want to shine a light on," she added.

Current is emphasizing the report’s data points in its media relations strategy.

"There is a robust amount of data from this year’s report as well as comparing back with past reports," said Amy Colton, EVP at the agency. "We are drilling down into some of the cities that have been named as safe drivers."

Along with media relations, Current is working with influencers including driving experts, parenting pros, and lifestyle icons to promote the message that Allstate cares about safe driving and to use the report to engage customers.

Current is also helping Allstate with the Reality Rides campaign, which launched in April and features a simulator to demonstrate the effects of distracted driving, as well as the Holiday Home Hazards campaign, which will launch later this year. Budget information was not disclosed.

Allstate had previously worked with Current on its 2015 Silver Lining campaign, which focused on breast cancer awareness.

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