Ford Driving Skills for Life

BACKGROUND

With their upcoming national teen driving safety program coming to Nashville in September 2013, Ford Driving Skills for Life (DSFL), a philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, hired Reed Public Relations to assist in planning and executing the three-day hands-on driving program. DSFL had a goal of bringing 600 students total to participate in the program, which consisted of two sessions a day for three days. Program leadership also wanted to gain positive media attention during their stop in Nashville and complete an assembly tour to all participating schools in the weeks leading up to the events. RPR was given the task of recruiting all 600 students for the driving courses. Ford DSFL preferred the majority of participating students come from Metro Nashville Public Schools. RPR was also responsible for coordinating assembly dates, times and other details with participating schools, as well as setting up DSFL professional driver visits to local Ford dealerships and the Ford Credit office to help promote the events.

 

STRATEGIES + TACTICS

To ensure the program’s success, RPR began outreach to Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) more than four months in advance of DSFL, creating partnerships with school administration and several community organizations. RPR initially secured the participation of students from six schools, five of which were MNPS. Participation dates and times for each school were coordinated and organized, as well as assembly details.

As the date of the driving safety events got closer, RPR was steadfast to confirm all details with each school. In order to make sure they met or exceeded their quota of students for each driving course, RPR also secured the participation of students from two additional schools as the event approached. The planning and execution process included the following tasks:

  • Coordinate with principals, academy coaches and other administrators at each school.
  • Develop detailed agendas and one-pagers for each school to ensure they knew exactly when their assembly was and the date/time of their event participation.
  • Develop agenda for DSFL professional driver/accompany to school assemblies, Ford Credit and local dealership visits.
  • Develop press release and media advisory.
  • Develop extensive DSFL Nashville briefing book for DSFL team. This included event location, dates/times, detailed DSFL assembly schedule, hands-on driving course schedule, dealership visit schedule, biographies of local police and elected officials, media advisory and press release.
  • Drop off and collect liability waivers from each participating school.
  • Keep documentation of each participating student.
  • Handle all local media pitching, coordinate check-in and on-site media efforts.

 

RESULTS

RPR exceeded the requirements of 600 students throughout the three-day driving safety events. Media was secured for assemblies, as well as the actual hands-on driving courses, and spanned across TV, print, and online. Mt. Juliet Vice Mayor James Maness attended one of the events to meet the DSFL team and program leadership. Several administrators from the schools involved wrote RPR and expressed their gratitude for including them and their students in such an impactful program. Significant outlets where RPR landed hits included:

  • The Tennessean
  • WKRN-TV (ABC)
  • WZTV-TV (Fox)
  • WSMV-TV (NBC)
  • The Daily Herald
  • Lebanon Democrat
  • Mount Juliet News