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1 IPAC Case Study Program Public Safety Canada: Get Prepared Social Marketing Campaign by Doug Davidge

2 IPAC Case Study Program Over a number of years, the Canada School of the Public Service (CSPS), in partnership with the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC), is producing a series of case studies for use in learning events at the School and for general use within and across governments to share organizational learning through the IPAC Case Study program. The cases are prepared in conjunction with partners across a variety of governments, with a strong focus on activities of the federal government. We thank all those departments and ministries that have agreed to share their insights and experiences for the benefit of others. Each case will consist of the case itself and a short teaching note with ideas suggesting uses and themes. A series of lessons learned based on the observations of those interviewed, as well as written material and insights from the case author and editor will also be included. For further information on this series or questions about this case, you can contact Jenifer Graves at the Canada School or Andrew Graham Series Editor for IPAC Case Studies. All cases are prepared by a researcher/writer and then edited. The research is based on published material and interviews with those who had been involved with the case. All interviews are treated as confidential and all quotations arising from them are not attributed to an identified individual. Website for all IPAC cases: and Public Safety Canada: Get Prepared social marketing campaign Author, Doug Davidge Financial support from the Canada School of Public Service to conduct this work is gratefully acknowledged. The views expressed in this report are not necessarily those of the Canada School of Public Service or of the Government of Canada. Abstract This case outlines how Public Safety Canada (PS) built successful partnerships to deliver a social marketing campaign in a different way. It moved the perspective from one of working alone to a more encompassing, social marketing-based approach that focused on building on the strengths of others. The second focus is how the campaign leveraged the credibility, resources and networks of private and not-forprofit institutions to deliver the message of preparedness, and create sustainability for the campaign. In doing this, Public Safety Canada was positioned more as a leader and enabler rather than a director or distributor of resources. These two focuses are linked as the case s primary concern of how to build and sustain multi-stakeholder, crosssector partnerships in a distributed environment. The objective of the case is to provide the story of this work in order to derive lessons learned and learning points for others to consider as they undertake similar projects. From an academic perspective this case will provide insight into how governments build effective partnerships. Date of Publication: 2013 Cover photo: Bernie Kasper, Madison Indiana Photography - Page 1

3 Public Safety Canada: Get Prepared Social Marketing Campaign INTRODUCTION This is a case of collaboration among government, the non-government/not-for-profit sector and the private sector to encourage Canadian families to be better prepared for emergency situations. Built around the simple concepts of Know the risks; make a plan; get a kit, the campaign provided unique insights in the building of effective partnerships without the growth of government structures to sustain them. However, like so many issues confronting government today, raising awareness, changing attitudes and behaviors, and then ensuring sustainability can be most effective when different sectors work together. CONTEXT What is the Get Prepared social marketing campaign? The Get Prepared campaign is Public Safety Canada s first social marketing activity and is managed by the Communications Directorate. The campaign encourages Canadians to take practical steps to prepare for emergencies by knowing the risks in their area, creating an emergency plan and getting an emergency kit either by assembling or buying one. Over the long term (5 years and beyond), the intention is to help create a culture of preparedness in Canada. The campaign s overarching message is that emergency preparedness is a shared responsibility and that everyone should be able to cope on their own in an emergency for at least 72 hours. To support this social marketing program, $9.4 million was allocated for multi-media advertising over four years in ($3M each in FY 05-06, and and $400,000 in 09-10). In developing the social marketing strategy one of the goals was to increase the impact of the campaign beyond its resources by using partnering as a form of program delivery. Why a campaign for emergency preparedness? A number of factors led to the development of the campaign. In the years leading up to the campaign, disasters had forced more than four million Canadians from their homes and caused billions of dollars of damage. Events such as Hurricane Juan in Nova Scotia (2003), Hurricane Katrina (2005), and floods in Alberta and Newfoundland (2005) demonstrated that hazards can occur with little notice and have lasting consequences. The number and intensity of weather-related emergencies appeared to be on the rise in the last several years. At the same time, public opinion research showed that Canadians personal preparedness levels ranged from low to moderate. This is in spite of the fact that Canada s national emergency response strategies may require that individuals attend to their own needs for a minimum of 72 hours during a major disaster. Pre-campaign baseline research indicated that only about one quarter of Canadians (28%) had sought information on what to do in case of an emergency; and only slightly more had prepared a family emergency plan (33%) or kit (32%). Further, a large number of those who hadn t prepared a kit didn t believe they needed one, even though 61% of Canadians believed that preparing a kit was an important part of safety. In addition, this research showed that there were three main barriers in communicating the need for individual emergency preparedness: Page 2

4 Psychological beliefs which deter preparation. This included a feeling of security within Canada, a belief that most forms of emergencies are short-lived, a lack of experience and/or belief that citizens won t have to deal with an emergency and a refusal to contemplate disaster before it happens; Lack of awareness among the public about where to go for emergency preparedness information; and, A belief among Canadians that they can rely on government and other trained disaster professionals to take care of them during an emergency. In other words, most Canadians were nowhere near prepared for an emergency. BACKGROUND AND STRATEGIC APPROACH Research Benchmark public opinion and academic research provided the basis for major campaign decisions over the life of the campaign. At the outset, Public Safety Canada worked with a University of Ottawa psychologist to conduct a literature review in the area of Psychosocial Aspects of Risk and Health, and apply findings to an emergency preparedness and social marketing context. This was part of a strategy to use research to determine Canadians perceptions and adapting messages to help them take action. From the research and subsequent analysis came the key elements that guided the campaign: Target audiences and specific objectives, barriers, motivators Key messages Benchmarks of knowledge, attitude and behavior The concept of multilevel intervention and the use of partnering as a form of program delivery The primary target audience was those most likely to respond to messaging to take action and influence others, i.e. parents with school-aged children, with a greater focus on women/mothers, aged years, urban, and middle to upper income. This included five million Canadian families with children. The secondary target audiences were ethnic communities, aboriginal communities, persons with disabilities and intermediaries (NGOs, other governments departments, provinces and territories) via partnering. Get Prepared Campaign Objectives In response to the above, the overall objectives of the campaign are to: 1. Raise awareness of the threat environment 2. Increase the number of Canadians who have an emergency kit 3. Increase the number of Canadians who have a family emergency plan These objectives were further broken down into three major areas of focus: Knowledge Objectives: To have Canadians know about threats in their area To have Canadians know what should constitute an emergency kit To increase Canadians understanding of what to do in an emergency situation Page 3

5 Belief Objectives: To have Canadians believe that there is a sense of urgency about getting prepared, but not a sense of doom To have Canadians believe that by preparing for emergencies, they will have peace of mind and be better equipped to respond to an emergency situation Behaviour Objectives: To have Canadians create a family emergency plan To have Canadians assemble an emergency kit To have Canadians get more information about emergencies from the campaign web site and/or O-Canada Concepts from the research that helped guide the campaign 1. Positive messaging is preferred over negative or fear-based messaging. Secondary research showed that fear-based approaches in social marketing can back-fire, induce avoidance to the message, and are generally less effective over the long term. 2. Threat can increase motivation, but high-perceived threat may lead to fear and undermine uptake. In contrast, an All-hazards approach finding common things you can do to prepare in response to a variety of emergency situations broadens applicability and relevance. 3. Fear is a natural response when confronted with a situation where one s personal safety or that of a loved one may be in jeopardy, such as during an emergency. Using risk communications principles, the campaign aims to reduce fear/ anxiety by giving people something concrete to do. For example, in developing emergency preparedness messaging, the Department focuses on simple, actionable messaging that encourages the desired behavior namely, getting an emergency kit and plan, and finding out about risks in their area. This approach increases people s sense of personal control, thereby reducing fear/anxiety. It also may help them better cope when an emergency does happen (as opposed to someone who has been governed by fear). 4. Multilevel intervention need to reach people many times, at different levels to help reinforce the message and leverage the power of modeling being shown how-to by trusted sources that people can identify with. It is important to partner with a broad range of stakeholders - individuals, families, non-profit organizations, associations, and communities/society and build on relationships Public Safety Canada has with organizations such as the Canadian Red Cross and St. John Ambulance. 5. People are more likely to change behavior for the sake of a loved one rather than oneself. There is good reason to aim at protecting loved ones as the motivational basis. As a result, the campaign tagline became Is Your Family Prepared? 6. Encourage related behavior that may be easier to perform - such as taking a first aid course or ensuring a working smoke alarm. Behaviour change theory indicates that performing a behavior is the strongest predictor of performing a related one. Therefore, once a baby step has been completed, it can increase confidence and commitment to a more difficult behaviour. Page 4

6 Marketing Strategy Blueprint for the campaign Research studies were repeated each year from to guide marketing strategy and evaluate performance. Get Prepared campaign messaging has been adapted over the years to suit the needs of the target audience. For example, early in the campaign research showed that many Canadians believed that they didn t need to get a kit, so messaging focused on demonstrating why a kit was a good idea. Later research found that this belief shifted somewhat: While the target audience believed that having a kit was a good idea, they didn t have the time to get one. Messaging then shifted as well, to show how quick and easy it is to get a kit, thereby reducing barriers to action. The objective for the Marketing Strategy was to provide the target audiences with messages, information and tools at the right time and right place, via the right delivery mechanism (e.g. on the Internet, at school, in the retail outlet). To achieve this objective, a variety of tactics were employed simultaneously. These include: 1. Advertising aimed at influencing the primary target audience - included national television flights; print ads in numerous national women-targeted magazines and newspapers; contests, ads on websites matching the magazine buy and online marketing programs. 2. Augmented products include an emergency preparedness web site, a toll-free number, a family emergency preparedness guide and pre-packaged emergency kits. The workbook-style preparedness guide informs Canadians how to find out more about their local risks, a family emergency plan template, and a checklist of emergency kit items locations where pre-packaged kits can be purchased. Pre-packaged emergency kits were developed for distribution through collaborative agreements/partnerships between not-for-profit organizations and retail chains across Canada. 3. Promotional material and publications to support distribution channels 4. Direct marketing: Public Safety Canada worked with partners to create direct marketing programs. Emergency preparedness guides were inserted into emergency kits and training manuals, retail collateral such as posters and end of aisle displays that supported the Is Your Family Prepared? messaging. 5. Media relations to capitalize on media interest and/or community responsibility. 6. Public relations including staff seminars and a testimonials program where motivational testimonials were solicited through contests and may be featured in future phases of the campaign. 7. Parliamentary engagement - Elected Members of Parliament (307 MPs) were also invited to champion this program, bringing messages and communications products to their constituencies across the country. 8. Internal communications - 380,700 federal government employees: every year, Public Safety Canada sent messages from their Deputy Minister to interdepartmental colleagues to promote emergency preparedness; emergency preparedness presentations were given to staff and made available to volunteers interested in hosting training sessions and kiosks/table-top displays were set-up in government buildings. 9. Trade shows and Consumer Events to facilitate face-to-face discussions 10. Educational programs to influence attitudes and behaviour Page 5

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