PUBLIC SECT0R: DTLR to boost road safety campaign with PR support

The Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions has taken on external PR support in a bid to extend coverage of its ongoing road safety campaign, 'Think!'.

Advertising campaigns by agencies D'Arcy and AMV are already underway.

Now PR agency support has been added to complement the advertising and attempt to keep messages in the public eye all year round.

Following a pitch organised by DTLR, Fishburn Hedges has been recruited to support campaigns focusing on child and young person road safety issues.

The FH team, headed by Victoria Tate, is tasked with targeting parents and teenagers, mainly through media relations.

Using external PR support to target teenagers for the Think! campaign is a first for the DTLR, according to Tate.

She said: 'This hasn't been done before in such a concentrated way. We have also been asked to look at other ways we can target our key audiences.'

Also hired is Good Relations Group firm QBO. The agency has been tasked with gaining year-round coverage for driver behaviour campaigns.

This will include a campaign, expected to start in April, to promote the wearing of seatbelts. Campaigns to make drivers aware of fatigue and the dangers of drink driving will follow in the summer.

Other expected campaigns are motorbike safety and to discourage the use of mobile phones while driving.

The QBO team is headed by director Jo Carr and senior consultant Matt Buchanan. Both agencies report to the DTLR's publicity team, which is headed by assistant director Tony Allsworth.

The Think! campaign was developed two years ago to help meet Government targets of a 40 per cent overall reduction in deaths and serious injuries on the roads by 2010 and the slashing the number of child accidents by 50 per cent during the same period.

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