ASTM and ICPHSO Hold Workshop on I&E Campaigns
Friday, October 14, 2016
Posted by: Kathleen Chaplick
The first of what ASTM International and ICPSHO hope to be an ongoing series of education workshops for all industry stakeholders was held in Washington, DC on Thursday, October 13. The inaugural event explored the effectiveness of information and education campaigns (I&E) and discussed ways to enhance and implement campaigns for maximum success.
While all participants made the case that I&E campaigns have a place in communicating important issues to the general public, the majority incorporated the belief that I&E campaigns alone don’t work and there is a need to couple them with regulatory action and engineering modifications for consumer products.
CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye, in his luncheon remarks stated that he believe there is a hierarchy in safety and that I&E campaigns are at the bottom. He put design changes to products at the top of his list. I&E campaigns, he said are a way of “outsourcing to consumers to solve their problems”. He said that parents or consumers don’t know as much as companies believe they do about problems and that companies should “rely on I&E campaigns as a bridge to something else to solve the problem”.
Examples of I&E campaigns were discussed from industries regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Window Coverings and Strangulation, Off Highway Vehicles, as well as the CPSC’s own Pool Safety Campaign. Organizations regulated by other agencies provided I&E campaigns on the issues of teen smoking, tires, and Dextromenthorphan (Dex) an ingredient in over the counter cough syrup.
Some key takeaways from panelists discussing campaign planning and execution are:
- The audience should be at the center of your messaging
- The campaign is about the audience not the company (it’s about them not us)
- If you are messaging “in the moment” you are messaging too late – get ahead of issues
- Messaging should no longer seek a broad awareness but be highly targeted and controlled
- Utilize all channels and platforms