Product Safety commission brings back Widmeyer

WASHINGTON: The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has rehired Widmeyer Communications to run its national "Pool Safely" public education campaign that aims to reduce child drownings.

WASHINGTON: The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has rehired Widmeyer Communications to run its national “Pool Safely” public education campaign that aims to reduce child drownings.

Widmeyer had run the campaign from 2010 to last summer, but the relationship ended when the commission lacked the funds to retain an external PR firm, said Kathleen Reilly, communications specialist at the commission. She handled outreach efforts for the initiative herself until funding became available to hire an agency. The group appointed Widmeyer this month after an RFP.

“It's too much for one person to do on her own,” Reilly said. “We needed help, professional help, and that's why we've reached out to Widmeyer with another contract.”

The one-year budget is valued at just over $1 million and it can be extended for two additional years.

The Pool Safely campaign was required by the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, which was signed into law in 2007. The bill requires a national public education campaign to raise public awareness, support industry compliance, and improve safety at pools and spas.

This time around, Widmeyer will increase efforts to target harder-to-reach populations, such as minorities, and low income and rural audiences, said Ben Finzel, SVP of public affairs at  Widmeyer.

The firm is planning several events, and it will also use billboard and radio ads, media outreach, public service announcements, social media, and trade show appearances to promote the cause. It will also continue to use the campaign's website as a central information source.

“It's fun to work on something that has had an impact,” Finzel said. “To get to work on it again really is inspiring.”

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