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How to Implement a Community-Based Designated Driver Program

  Program Planning
  Program Marketing

Tips for Specific Groups


  Educators/College Groups
  Criminal Justice
  Medical and Health Care Community
  Hospitality Industry and Retailers
  Armed Forces

Publicity and Promotion
  Working with the Media
  Calendar of Year Round Ideas
  Media Q&A

  Partners and Resources


You can plan the best program in the world, but if the word doesn't get out about your effort, how can the program help anyone? You can create greater support for your efforts through publicity and promotion. Publicity is generally defined as working with local media – radio, TV, print and cable – to place stories about your Designated Driver program. Promotion activities include different types of events, brochures, signs, buttons, T-shirts, ribbons – anything distributed to the community that raises awareness of your program, the impaired driving problem and why people should designate sober drivers. This section shows you how media support can help raise awareness of your community's impaired driving problem.


Start the outreach effort by appointing an experienced public information officer or publicity chairperson who knows and understands the local media. Another important step is research. Become familiar with local reporters and writers and stay up-to-date on the issues they write about. This will help you pitch your story to the media. It is important to develop interesting and appealing story lines, or events that tell your story.


No matter where you are, you should be able to find media outlets to convey the Designated Driver messages to the public. The following is a list of media outlets you should contact:

  • cable and local television stations,
  • radio stations,
  • daily newspapers (urban and/or community-based),
  • weekly newspapers (urban and/or community-based) and
  • industry magazines.


There are a number of different communication tools you can use to convey your message to the media. Before you begin, you should understand what each tool is, and how it fits into your media outreach activities.


Advisories "sell" your event to the media. By explaining the who, what, when and where of your activity. It should explain why your event is newsworthy. It should be sent at least three days before the event and followed up by phone calls to assignment desks and reporters.
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