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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 know your local media best. Over time, you may develop a strong sense of which stories various media outlets will find newsworthy. Use these outreach strategies to publicize your local You Drink & Drive. You Lose. campaign and Designated Driver program.


The earlier you begin, the easier it will be for you to generate positive media results for your activities. Advance notice helps editors and producers plan their schedules to include coverage of your story or event. You can adapt the sample letter to the editor and sample news release to notify the media of your planning, and the reasons such action is necessary. Coordinate your outreach activities with local partners or other groups in your community that are active in the fight against impaired driving. After you have sent out your letters, PSAs and releases, telephone media contacts to pitch your story.


Sometimes a story is directly based on a news release. But there are times that a reporter may want to conduct an interview to add more detail or flavor. When the time for an interview comes, it is important to understand the procedure. Research the types

of stories the interviewing reporter has done in the past. Be considerate of the interviewer's schedule – journalists and other media professionals work on tight deadlines. Be prepared for the media to contact you. If they do not receive your input in time, they will not include your story and may be less likely to contact you in the future.

Reporters are interested only in information that constitutes real news, not self-promotion. It is important to stay current with local crash data, to ensure an informative and efficient interview. Provide prompt and accurate responses to an interviewer's questions. If you don't feel
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comfortable answering a question or don't have the information to accurately answer, be honest with the reporter. Say you don't have the answer but you will get back to them right away. By doing so, the media is more likely to respect you and use your information, now and in future stories.

Finally, determine the messages you want to communicate. Figure out the questions that you want to be asked and know your answers ahead of time, and stick to your message regardless of the questions. If you already know what you want to say, it will be easier to work those points into the discussion. A media interview question and answer is located on page 26 to help you prepare.


Encourage the media to contact you with follow-up questions. Reporters may call you back as they begin to write their stories. This is another opportunity to pitch your message and ensure your views and statements are accurately expressed.


Don't consider the media merely a vehicle for conveying your messages. The media can also play an active role by becoming a partner in your Designated Driver program. Urge radio, TV, and cable stations to run public service announcements urging people to designate a sober driver.

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