ANN ARBOR, MI: Domino's Pizza and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) are using a pizza-giveaway program and social media to promote their annual fall fire-safety program.
During Fire Prevention Week, which will run from October 9-15, participating Domino's stores will include fire-safety messages on the tops of their pizza boxes, as well as images of mascot “Sparky the Fire Dog.” Fire departments around the country will team up with local Domino's locations to check fire alarms during pizza deliveries. If all alarms are in working order, the pizza will be free, and firefighters will fix out-of-order alarms.
“There's no better incentive than free pizza, and it's something that we're happy to do,” said Jen Hug, PR associate at Domino's. “We have 5,000 stores across the US and we're using that network to get as much of that message out there as possible.”
The NFPA will promote the campaign through its Facebook page, which has more than 20,000 fans, as well as the page of “Sparky the Fire Dog,” which it created this year for the mascot's 60th birthday. It will also use its “very active” Twitter account as a major outreach conduit, said Lorraine Carli, VP of communications at the NFPA.
“Four years ago, we were doing primarily traditional outreach – TV, radio, and newspaper,” she said. “It has really evolved and has a much greater social media presence today.”
Domino's first partnered with the NFPA four years ago on the fire-safety program. The partnership between the NFPA and Domino's is “natural” since the pizza chain delivers nearly 1 million pizzas a day, said Carli. The organizations have also expanded the initiative to Canada.
Domino's will handle all PR internally with a team of four staffers, said Hug. CooperKatz & Company is helping the NFPA with promotions for Sparky, but an in-house division of six employees is managing other communications tactics. Crispin Porter & Bogusky helped Domino's with PR for last year's iteration of the campaign.
The NFPA is also using videos of Sparky helping to deliver pizza and fire-safety messages to consumers throughout the campaign, said Carli.
Blogs are another significant communications element for the initiative. The NFPA will post all relevant campaign information on its Fire Prevention Week blog, and the organization will reach out to various mommy bloggers, said Carli.
“The whole message of fire safety is very crucial to mothers because children have the highest risk of fire deaths of any age group,” she said. “Also, kids are very receptive to the fire-safety message when they're' young, so reaching parents and kids is a very key component of our outreach.”