PUBLIC SECTOR: FCO pushes fresh holiday safety message

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is launching a fresh push in its safety campaign for holidaymakers.

The Know Before You Go campaign, which launched last year, is to be carried on for at least another three years, the FCO announced this week.

Jacqui Goacher, consultant at agency Biss Lancaster Euro RSCG, which has been appointed to handle PR for the campaign, said the newly created strategy is to 'provide a steady drip-feed to the media through mini campaigns.'

Forthcoming campaigns include a focus on people visiting relatives abroad.

This will target minority communities and holiday firms that specialise in travel to Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.

This month the first campaign, targeting football fans travelling to Japan for England's remaining World Cup games, was launched.

The FCO is working alongside the Football Association and using sporting celebrities such as John Barnes to make sure fans are well-informed about travel insurance and Japanese culture.

Goacher said focusing on sporting events will be a running theme during the next three years.

'Sporting events are good for us to be part of. It focuses the country's minds on travel and helps us to get coverage,' she said.

Biss Lancaster is also tasked with the responsibilty for liaising with around 130 travel industry partners including Boots Travel Insurance and Thomson Holidays.

Media relations is also aimed at increasing the number of hits on the FCO's travel advice website.

The agency team is led by senior consultant Katherine Boness and reports to FCO head of policy Sarah Dring.

Last year's launch campaign was handled by agency The Forster Company, which was part of a consortium including AEA Technology Environment and the Consumers Association. This focused on backpacking holidays and warning of drug-trafficking scams.

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