American Traffic Safety Services Association Case Study

Challenges

The American Traffic Safety Services Association, an international trade association based in Fredericksburg, Va., works to improve roadway safety. When a federal law requiring road signs to be replaced with retroreflective sheeting was erroneously criticized by some national media organizations, the association needed help correcting the record.

The issue was incorrectly being reported as a law requiring every road sign in America to be replaced – even good ones. The law actually only required the signs to be replaced after their normal lifespans. Replacement signs would then be updated with the retroreflective sheeting. The association needed an offensive campaign to correct the record. It turned to Vox Optima.

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Solutions

Vox Optima designed a comprehensive approach designed to set the record straight. Vox Optima conducted media training for the association’s president and CEO, who became a key deliverer of accurate information on the issue.

Vox Optima personnel provided him with interview techniques, bridging techniques and live experience conducting simulated interviews in a variety of formats – and constructive feedback. Vox Optima developed a communication strategy targeting media outlets who had made factually errors in coverage of the issue – and media who were interested in getting the story right the first time.

The program included letters to the editor, articles for placement, and responses to online publications interested in the story. Messages were targeted, focused and simple for readers to digest. And they were factually correct.

Vox Optima connected the client with a national association of city managers who have direct communication access to the people responsible for road signs in municipalities across the country.  We provided this organization communication material for distribution to this essential audience.

Outcomes

Vox Optima helped the customer correct the record in dozens of publications and several radio and TV stations. This effort provided accurate, timely information to thousands of readers, listeners and viewers – the very people the association works to keep safe on roadways. Vox Optima also connected ATSSA with a key partner at a time when key stakeholders had the opportunity to make an impact.

The strategic approach Vox Optima developed gave ATSSA more visibility with audiences who had never heard of them before.  Media consumers who get their news from a variety of sources – including social media and online outlets – learned about the association and its commitment to roadway safety.  Most importantly, ATSSA was able to demonstrate to its membership that they were active, aggressive and competent in engaging the news media on their behalf.