Archive for November, 2013

BROOKLINE, CALGARY POLICE SERVICE AND UNIVERSAL FORD DEMONSTRATE THE RISKS OF DISTRACTED DRIVING TO TEENS

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Ford of Canada recently conducted a national survey that revealed most Canadian teens still drive distracted – and so do their parents despite being very aware of the dangers.

Brookline worked with Ford to help communicate the dangers of distracted driving and reinforce the importance of staying alert and focused while on the road, without distractions such as cellphones, food, make-up and adjusting electronic devices.

On November 5, 2013, Brookline planned and executed an event to emphasize the safety issues around distracted driving in partnership with Universal Ford, the Calgary Police Service (CPS) and Henry Wise Wood Senior High School.

Media and students alike had the opportunity to test drive several Ford vehicles in a controlled course to experience firsthand how texting and other distractions can severely affect a driver’s capabilities. Participants were asked to draft a completely legible text while driving, while a Ford representative simultaneously played loud music and side-tracked them with loud conversation.

Other activations at the event included walking the line with impaired goggles courtesy of the CPS and a Ford Technology station featuring advancements in in-vehicle Ford technologies that help make our roads safer.

Check out some of the Ford driver technologies to help reduce distracted driving:

  • SYNC – Uses voice commands to offer hands-free control of multiple functions, including phone calls, texting, music selection and navigation, allowing drivers to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.
  • MyKey® – features a “Do Not Disturb” function which blocks incoming calls and deters text messages. Calls are diverted to voicemail and text messages are saved on the device for later viewing. MyKey® also has the ability to set a maximum speed level, limit the volume on the sound system, and disable the sound system altogether until seatbelts are buckled.
  • Lane Keeping Aid – in case a driver’s attention drifts, this technology activates when the driver leaves his or her lane without a turn signal, and gently steers the vehicle back into the correct lane.
  • Adaptive Cruise Control – helps maintain a safe distance between vehicles. Monitors a lead vehicle, adjusting the speed of the vehicle on cruise control to keep it at a pre-set distance behind the vehicle ahead of it.
  • Collision Warning with Brake Support – Alerts drivers of a potential collision. Uses radar sensors to warn of vehicles ahead that are within a pre-set distance. The driver is alerted by a head-up display and an audible warning signal.

We were more than happy to help communicate information on safe driving skills, the results of the survey and insight into how simple changes in driving behaviours can raise awareness and create discussion around this incredibly important issue.

Survey findings for Alberta:

  • 93 per cent of teens and 97 per cent of parents admit to distracted driving even though they know it’s dangerous.
  • 72 per cent of teens and 67 per cent of parents use hand-held technology, such as texting and talking on the phone, while behind the wheel.
  • 68 per cent of teens and 76 per cent of parents in Alberta use hand-held technology while behind the wheel.
  • 37 per cent of teens and 22 per cent of parents text or email while the car is in motion.
  • Both teens and parents are also likely to speed with 84 per cent of teens and 88 per cent of parents admitting to it.
  • Six out of 10 teens admitted to turning on the music so loud that other nearby vehicles could not be heard.
  • 71 per cent of teens and 59 per cent of parents admit to tailgating.
  • Riskier behaviours increase as teens age. New drivers, those 16 to 17 years old, are more likely to say they follow all of the rules of the road compared to those 18 to 19 years old (71 per cent vs. 48 per cent).
  • What’s promising is that one in five teens and parents report they are using voice-activated, hands-free technologies most or all of the time over a hand-held device.

– Robyn MacLean is an Account Executive at Brookline Public Relations. She brings experience and knowledge to the agency in the areas of media relations, event management, technical and creative writing and editing, corporate communications, government relations and social media.

Brookline and YYC Launch 30 Days, 300 Ideas campaign

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Brookline recently supported the Calgary Airport Authority, in launching an exciting public engagement campaign in parallel with the construction of their new runway, which is set to open in spring 2014. In true Brookline fashion we delivered a dynamic and out-of-the-box media event to kick off the 30 Days, 300 Ideas campaign.

The Calgary Stampede Showband started things off with an eight-man drumline that descended via escalator into the midst of the crowded departures terminal at the Calgary Airport. This was followed by an original composition from the showband who creatively repurposed a variety of construction materials as musical instruments in a second toe-tapping number.

Calgary Airport Authority Board Chair David Swanson presented to an audience of 50 sixth graders from Valley View Elementary School, as well as an array of media and passers-by. Spectators were updated on the progress of the new runway and encouraged to share their ideas for events and activities to celebrate the opening of the new runway. The campaign is encouraging Calgarians to share more than 300 ideas in 30 days through an interactive website, YYCRunway.com. In early 2014, the Calgary Airport Authority will choose the top ideas to create a one-of-a-kind public event to celebrate the runway’s opening.

Jody Moseley, Director of Corporate Communications and Marketing for the Calgary Airport Authority, invited the school children to officially ”launch” the website by throwing paper airplanes down a 25 foot runway banner. The event concluded with the distribution of construction-themed ice cream treats for all to enjoy while students and onlookers submitted their own ideas for the runway celebration to YYC’s white hat volunteers, equipped with iPads.

Contribute your idea to the 30 Days, 300 Ideas campaign (and enter to win $300 YYC Bucks) at YYCRunway.com until Nov. 27, 2013.

Photo credit: Mark Shannon

-Erica Morgan is an intern at Brookline Public Relations and a recent University of Calgary graduate. She brings experience in the areas of internal communications, business ethics and creative design.

Happy Birthday Brookline!

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Brookline had its ninth birthday this year. Wow!

I could easily start this blog with a typical statement like, “It seems like yesterday when….” However, that would be expected and if you know Brookline and what we do on daily basis, nothing is ever expected. So as I contemplated what I was going to write for this ninth anniversary blog, I dared myself to do something unexpected. Are you scratching your heads yet?

No, it does not involve jazz hands or striking a pose… but close! To those who know me, I am known to throw down a few “tizzies” of rap to brighten the days of our team here and for others who walk through our doors. So why not demonstrate nine years of business ShaunaMac style? Here goes.

B to the P to the R I say.

Ninth Anniversary – whoa hey hey.

We got game, PR is what we do.

Nine years of business.

Whaaat? True True.

Business, crisis and lifestyle trends.

Clients with swagger, they’re our friends.

All women, all women, hear us roar.

Smart, fierce, professional.

Need I say more!?

I am so happy to celebrate nine years at Brookline. It’s an accomplishment that is truly shared with our amazing team and I cannot wait to jump into year 10 with both feet and celebrate a decade.

Say Whaaat?

– Shauna Mac

Shauna MacDonald is Principal and Founder of Brookline Public Relations. She provides strategic public relations expertise to companies of all sizes. Shauna’s extensive knowledge has helped numerous companies in many industries launch programs, products and increase profile and awareness by developing comprehensive and strategic PR and IR strategies.