Communications Plan

Prepared by: Community Outreach Subcommittee of Public Information/Education/Legislation Committee Broward Regional EMS Council

Updated August 15, 2013

Texting While Driving Communications Plan

Situation Analysis

According to CTIA – The Wireless Association, text messaging has experienced a tenfold increase in the past three years. It is becoming the way many people communicate today, which means some people may be doing it at the worst possible time – while driving. The statistics on the risks of texting and driving are clear. Those who text while driving are 23 times more likely to be involved in some type of safety critical event as compared to those drivers who don’t text while driving, according to a study by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.  

The Broward Regional EMS Council is joining other entities such as AT&T, Sprint, T‐Mobile, National Safety Council, CTIA – The Wireless Association, National Organizations for Youth Safety, Broward Sheriff’s Office, Florida Department of Transportation and schools across the nation to educate employees, customers, students and the general public about using wireless devices safely while driving. Our goal is to generate a change in thinking and behavior of all wireless users.

Purpose of Plan

The purpose of this communication plan is to improve roadway safety for all vehicle operators, vehicle passengers, bicyclists, pedestrians and other road users by preventing crashes related to the act of text messaging and use of a cell phone while driving a motor vehicle.


The strategy for implementing this plan calls for quick, highly visible successes in the short term, and more involved or ongoing initiatives in the longer term. Existing public education and outreach programs that are effective will be enhanced and expanded. Partnerships and volunteers will be leveraged to expand resources, enabling the widespread communication of public education messages. Social media tools will be one of many components in the communications strategy, along with presentations, signage, broadcast media and well‐recognized and respected spokespersons. In addition, legislative initiatives will be encouraged at local and state levels.

Target Audiences

External Internal
General Public Students Municipalities Legislators All Broward County Employees All Municipal Employees


  1. Increase public awareness of the consequences of distractive driving to positively change behavior of wireless phone users.
  2. Promote collaboration between government entities to increase public awareness on the dangers of distractive driving behaviors.
  3. Create partnerships with private sector entities in support of the public education campaign to stop distractive driving.
  4. Support the adoption by the State of Florida of a statewide ban on texting while driving law.

Work Plan

On the following pages, specific tasks and timeframes are identified to achieve each objective. Implementation of the work plan will be managed by the Community Outreach Subcommittee. Monthly progress reports will be shared with the Broward Regional EMS Council. While the true measure of success for this communication plan is the reduction in the number of accidents attributable to cell phone usage, it is not possible at this time to collect that data. Therefore, the measures of success indicators below relate to the number of activities listed in the action items.

Objective #1: Increase public awareness of the consequences of distractive driving to positively change behavior of wireless phone users.

Measures of Success:

  • Number of speaking engagements.
  • Number of public service announcements aired or published
  • Number of social media followers and friends
  • Number of Web site page views
Action Item Progress Report
1. Determine campaign branding, including logo and tagline. Complete. Tagline: Take Five to Stay Alive. Don’t Text and Drive. Logo was developed and presented to two different student focus groups (Coral Springs High School and South Plantation High School). Overall, it was well received. Also created logo for Gabby Chaves LLC.
2. Create key messages to support behavior change. Included in this report.
3. Develop a “tool kit” for speakers and other interested partners including a fact sheet and PowerPoint presentation

Complete with Ongoing Updates. Current tool kit items include:

  • Powerpoint presentation
  • FAQs handouts
  • Facts and Figures handout
  • Video PSA (English and Spanish)
  • Audio PSA (English and Spanish)
  • Logos
  • Ads (b/w and color)

Subcommittee met to review and reconcile three different powerpoints. New presentations should be available April 2013. Done October 2012 ‐ Committee members wishing to participate in a Speakers Bureau have been asked to submit photo and bio. Done Mar 2013 – Joel Gordon will be speaking at the 3CMA regional conference in Miami Beach on Texting and Driving. Done Send communication out to municipalities soliciting distribution of current material and encourage them to co‐brand with their municipalities. September Send communication out to schools soliciting distribution of current material and encourage them to co‐brand with their municipalities. September

4. Officially launch campaign with a press conference and include key stakeholders Complete. Launch event held Friday, May 11, in conjunction with 3rd Annual James Malcolm ALS Competition at the 16th Annual First There First Care Conference. Some media was present and B‐roll was provided to others. Video of news conference posted to Take5 website. Created and distributed media kit. A story about Gabby appeared in the Weston newspaper in May 2012.

5. Revise existing collaterals and create new collaterals as needed:

  • Brochures
  • General information brochure Exhibits and Displays
  • Texting and Driving traveling tabletop exhibit Audio/Visual Plasma screen slide Public Service Announcements
Ongoing. Broward County produced a plasma screen slide in the commission meeting broadcast rotation. A bumper sticker design has been produced. Logo now displayed on Gabby’s race car. 12/2012 – Broward Health magnets 3/2013 – Memorial Healthcare window clings New external and internal slides – July 2013
6. Broadcast public service announcements on cable television, radio and in print. Broward County produced an English and Spanish video PSA featuring campaign spokesperson Gabby Chaves. Spot was posted to the website and made available to media and municipalities. An audio PSA has been produced and is playing on Clear Channel/Mobile Mike. (Aug‐Sep 2012) Broward Family Life Magazine ran a print ad at no cost in their July 2012 issue. Send communication out to municipalities soliciting distribution of current psas to place on their existing websites and tv stations. September
7. Develop a Web site with information and the “tool kit.” Complete. website launched, and it will be continuously updated with new information. July 2012 – added Partners & Sponsors page Nov 2012 – posted audio PSAs Dec 2012 – added a Photo and Video Gallery June 2012 – Updated with new video and links

8. Take advantage of holidays and seasonal observances as opportunities for public education messages.

  • Issue press releases and media advisories
Ongoing. Now plan to issue a pre‐race season and post‐race season news release tying Gabby’s race schedule and performance into campaign messaging.
9. Create a social media site(s) (Facebook and/or Twitter sites) to support the public education campaign and to promote events and activities. No update. We should revisit effectiveness of a social media site. August 2013
10. Research grant opportunities to purchase novelty items with public education messages. Cheryl Rashkin volunteered to research grant opportunities.
11. Prepare a Communications Plan Activity Report for the EMC each quarter. Share the report on the Web site and with partners. Ongoing. Updated August 2013 An updated communication plan will be posted to the web site each quarter.

Objective #2: Promote collaboration between government entities to strengthen public awareness of the dangers associated with distractive driving behaviors. Measures of Success

  • Number of cities and government entities that are participating in the campaign.
Action Item Progress Report
12. Draft a proclamation in support of the key messages that every city can customize for their own presentation. Completed. Ongoing A sample proclamation is posted to the Take 5 website and the following have presented proclamations: Broward County, Cooper City, Hallandale Beach, Lauderdale Lakes, North Lauderdale, Oakland Park, School Board, Sunrise and Weston. Use task 13 to reintroduce the concept in the fall.
13. Send a letter to each municipality to request the adoption of the proclamation in support of the public education messages. No letter sent, but City of Sunrise proclaimed Oct. 2011 as “X the Text Month” with a proclamation and several cities have presented proclamations (see #12 above).
14. Seek cross promotions with municipalities and other elected offices (such as the Constitutional Officers) to piggyback the “No Texting” key messages in their existing collaterals. Ongoing. Joel Gordon presented the Take Five to Stay Alive. Don’t Text and Drive campaign to the South Florida Media Coalition. Dec 2012 – North Lauderdale placed a marquee sign along Rock Island Road in front of City Hall promoting Take 5 to Stay Alive, and put information about the dangers of texting and driving on their Cable Channel 78 on Comcast. Dec 2012 – At the committee’s request, state DOT posted messages about Texting and Driving on informational boards on interstate highways in Florida during the holiday season.
15. Place a link to each sponsor’s Web site on the campaign Web site if they agree to support the promotion of the key messages. Complete and Ongoing. The Partners & Sponsors page on the website has been updated to include logos and links to organizations that have supported the Take 5 campaign with a financial investment.
16. Request municipalities to broadcast public service announcements on their government sponsored channels. Ongoing. English and Spanish video and audio PSAs are now available. New solicitation to go out Fall 2013
17. Meet with BECON to request support and the production of a short video promotion targeting students in the Broward School system. The promotion can be aired on their cable channel as well as broadcast over the public announcement system. Ongoing. Jerry Graziose, School Board, got BECON to put information on Community Forum and Broward Teen News. In addition, BECON suggested a contest where students would produce their own video PSAs to remind people not to text and drive. State Farm was suggested as a sponsor for prizes. BECON will air the winning video.
18. Create a universal pledge to work through local legislative bodies and educational systems with a mechanism to forward and use social media to encourage participation. NEW Fall 2013. Drafted. Needs to be approved by the subcommittee at next meeting (September)
Objective #3: Create partnerships with private sector and not‐for‐profit entities in support of the public education campaign to stop distractive driving. Measures of Success:
  • Number of partnerships secured
Action Item  
18. Seek partnerships with media outlets such as cable companies, newspapers and radio stations to publish and broadcast public services messages. Ongoing. Channel 10 aired a segment with Kristi Krueger interviewing Sgt. Mark Wysocky, Florida Highway Patrol, on the dangers of texting and driving. New solicitation to go out in September. OPC
19. Solicit support from not‐for‐profit public safety organizations to participate in the public education campaign. Dec 2012 – new sponsor Darrell Gwynn Foundation (spinal cord injury awareness and prevention program) New solicitation out Summer 2013 OME
20. Develop private sector partnerships to promote key messages. (Insurance companies would make good partners.) Ongoing. Dr. Jerry Shank presented information to the Broward County Veterinarian Medical Association board meeting. Dec 2012 – Goodyear Blimp running Take 5 message. Jan 2013 – BB&T Center Jumbotron running Take 5 message during all Panthers games. Theaters First Look – Looked in to but not practical. OME
21. Seek community well‐kn spokespersons to record public service announcements and to promote key messages during speaking engagements. Complete. Through FHP Sgt. Mark Wysocky, the committee secured Gabby Chaves, a Formula race car driver and Western High School honor student, as the campaign spokesperson.
Objective #4: Support the passage of state legislation that bans texting while driving. Measures of Success: Number of cities that included the ban on texting and driving in their legislative programs
Action Item  
22. Request the inclusion of the ban on texting and driving in city and county legislative programs. Ongoing. 2012 Legislative Priorities for the Broward League of Cities: supports legislation prohibiting the use of a handheld cellular telephone while operating a motor vehicle in a school zone. 2013 Legislative Program was approved by the Broward County Commission on January 8, 2013 and includes support for legislation prohibiting texting while driving. It is currently in the Legislative Proposals area. The program provides as follows: Complete. Texting While Driving Support legislation prohibiting the operation of a motor vehicle manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other text in wireless communication device, or sending or reading data in the device, for the purpose of non‐voice interpersonal communication.
23. Send a letter from the EMS Council through the Broward County Commission to the Broward Legislative Delegation to support a ban on texting while driving. Feb 2013 – two committee members from Broward Health North met with state legislative representatives seeking support for CS/SB 52: Use of Wireless Communications Devices While Driving.