2010 NonProfit PR Awards: Public Affairs/Issues Management

Winner: Pool Safety Council/Gibraltar Associates - Pool Drain Danger - Raising Awareness, Saving Lives

Drowning is the second-leading cause of death among children ages 1-14, and entrapment in a pool, spa or hot tub drain is a real specific danger to kids. To combat misinformation among pool operators, Gibraltar launched a high-impact effort to educate stakeholders about the dangers of entrapment. Messages targeted parents, child safety advocates and officials involved in enforcing the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (P&SSA).

The Pool Safety Council’s website was redesigned into a multimedia messaging platform, and partnerships were formed with key national organizations. Gilbraltar assisted in state legislative efforts to pass pool safety laws, forging relationships with public safety, consumer and watchdog reporters. The result: The campaign garnered local, regional and national attention, with segments aired on network news shows and stories in major daily newspapers. —Scott Van Camp

Honorable Mention:

Vermont Student Assistance Corporation and hmc2 Advertising - VSAC Voices Campaign

In response to an Obama administration proposal that threatened the VSAC’s ability to provide educational funding services to low-income college-bound students, robust interactive and public affairs campaigns were launched. The result was successful intervention by Vermont’s congressional delegation.