LOS ANGELES: MWW is working with the Los Angeles Department of Public Health to establish smoke-free areas in several counties in Southern California.
It recently found success in the city of Whittier, where after a year of research, meetings, public opinion surveys, and collaboration with City Council members, an ordinance was passed to make all city parks smoke-free. The policy just went into effect.
The PR firm has shifted its focus to Beverly Hills. Research is underway there on how to best approach this municipality, as well as to find groups that it can collaborate with to achieve its goals.
“We're getting the pulse on what consumer sentiment is on the issue, and then we'll begin creating a communications campaign that's highly targeted,” said JP Schuerman, EVP and GM of MWW Los Angeles.
To create an effective outreach effort, MWW is relying on data about the dangers of second-hand smoke. That information was crucial in Whittier as well as Claremont, another California town where work led to both smoke-free parks and plazas last summer.
Another key will be a comprehensive consumer-engagement plan. Like the others, outreach in Beverly Hills will likely include social media as well as events and appearances at the City Council.
Lori Tiffany, chair of local advocacy group Activate Whittier, said the firm attended five council meetings over a period of several months. It also trained the group's members so they could speak effectively to both members of the council and the press.
“We needed that kind of technical assistance to get this through. For many, it was the first time being in these situations,” she said.
MWW also worked on the public affairs campaign that led to a New Jersey law that banned smoking in indoor public areas.
The agency bought LA-based PR and brand marketing firm Enso Communications last June and named Enso founding partner Scheurman EVP and GM of its Los Angeles office.