MIAMI, January 4, 2011 – rbb Public Relations, an award-winning national marketing PR agency, is taking a novel stance on multi-tasking while driving that encourages its employees to keep their eyes on the road. The PR agency is adopting what it calls the “Never, Ever Initiative,” a program that asks its employees to make a written commitment to put the brakes on distracted driving. In order to promote the safety of employees and others who share the same road, the initiative includes a specific list of banned activities for drivers, as well as provides incentives and company-paid tools to make compliance easier.
The growing reports of DWT (“driving while texting”) dangers prompted rbb to create the “Never, Ever Initiative” to dissuade all types of multi-tasking behaviors while driving. In addition to texting, emailing and speaking on hand-held cell phones, the policy prohibits other potentially dangerous driver behaviors, such as operating the radio, eating, applying makeup or rummaging around for items in a purse or elsewhere in the car.
“Like many companies, we ask our employees to be available on demand to handle urgent client matters, and we give them the smart phones and laptops they need to accomplish this goal,” said Christine Barney, CEO and managing partner of the Miami public relations firm. “But we believe that if we are going to encourage rbb professionals to live wirelessly, then we have a responsibility to help keep them safe on the road, and we have a wider community interest in helping to put a stop to distracted driving.”
To encourage adherence among its smart phone-savvy staff, the PR agency is offering to purchase Bluetooth or hands-free devices for its employees. In addition, the company is providing iTunes gift cards toward the purchase of the SAFECELL application. This cell phone app automatically tracks a driver’s position and warns him or her about local no-text and no-cell rules. It also records the person’s safe driving behavior and awards safe driving points that are redeemable for cash rewards at top retailers.
“Telling dedicated PR practitioners not to communicate is a difficult task – even if it is just for a short while when they are in their cars,” said Barney. “We have to value safety as much as we prize productivity and responsiveness so providing people with the tools and guidelines to make communication safer turns out to be a win-win for everyone.”
rbb will emphasize the “Never, Ever Initiative” at new hire orientation sessions and is asking all current employees to take the “Never, Ever” pledge. rbb is also promoting the initiative among its clients, Facebook and Twitter followers and encouraging them to institute “Never, Ever” or similar driver safety plans in their own organizations.