Public Relations Campaign
* Sample Public Relations Campaign in 2007/2008 which met all its goals
Client: non-profit foundation People Safe in Rollovers
Issue: ‘Roof Crush’ in automobile rollovers resulting in death and catastrophic injuries
1. Educate the general public and auto-safety advocates and consumer advocates by dissemination of new information to news media via printed material, billboards, press conferences, videos, press releases and media advisories
2. Lobby via a targeted PR campaign for a new improved car roof strength standard on all cars avoiding future catastrophic injuries due to the high incidence of ‘roof crush’ in rollovers resulting in death and catastrophic injuries
3. Prompt Senate Hearing on current inadequate roof strength standard, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard, FMVSS 216, which had not changed since 1971
Implementation of PR Campaign:
1. Host Introductory two day Summit with engineers and safety advocates from around the world
2. Press Conference with Kevin Moody, a father from Oklahoma who lost his only son in a rollover. Walk on Capitol Hill, “Grief Makes a Pilgrimage”, on what would have been Tyler Moody'’s 21st birthday; Tyler was killed due to ‘roof crush’ in a rollover. He was driving a Ford Explorer
3. Press Conference with Luis Pena and his wife. Pena is the only surviving member of the Border Patrol in a rollover incident involving "roof crush"— - who, because of his short stature, was spared from death or paralysis due to positional asphyxiation
4. Face to face meetings in all Senate offices with educational materials, press kits and videos of rollover in car with strong roof and rollover in car with weak roof
5. Private Meeting scheduled between Dr./ Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, and Kevin Moody, a native of Oklahoma, who lost his only son in a rollover accident
6. Creation of national Billboard Campaign with targeted message: Strong Roofs Save Lives” with photos and ages of victims of rollovers
7. Press Conference at National Press Club in Washington, D.C. with victims testimony and expert testimony and video demonstration of rollover of car with strong roof and car rollover with weak roof
Senate Hearing in June 2008 was the realization of our multi-tiered campaign to draw attention to the issue of the current faulty car roof strength standard and change the rule FMVSS 216, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 216, an inadequate standard that had not changed since 1971. Testimony by Dr. David Garcia, a quadriplegic victim from ‘roof crush’ experienced in his Ford Escort car rollover accident was connected to my non-profit client People Safe in Rollovers. Dr. Garcia’s riveting first-hand account was accompanied by the showing of giant blow-ups of cars involved in rollovers with the name and age of each of the accident victims.
Press Impact measured by News Media Coverage:
My client Paula Lawlor and Kevin Moody, the father of the rollover victim Tyler Moody, were interviewed on many news media outlets including CNN and the many TV stations affiliated with Sinclair Broadcasting. Paula Lawlor, the founder of People Safe in rollovers was on the cover of the July 2007 issue of Automotive News—the bible of the auto industry.
Outcome of People Safe in Rollovers Campaign:
As a result of our advocacy, for the first time in more than three decades, the federal government required automakers to make the roofs of passenger cars and most light trucks-stronger, —much stronger. In 2012, the new FMVSS216 standard went into effect for all new cars manufactured.
* In 2009, my client, Paula Lawlor, received the Consumer Advocate of the Year Award from the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego at the Annual Awards Dinner - —the same award previously given to Erin Brokovitch.