This is a guest post by Jason King, Vice President of Corporate Communications, Clear Channel Outdoor Americas.
Whether it’s providing critical information during a natural disaster or promoting an important local cause, outdoor advertising is a vital tool that local communities use to enrich and improve people’s lives.
Now, a growing number of localities are using billboards as a no-cost way to help communicate with the public, solve problems, and enhance safety. And, more recently, the industry has added flexible digital technology to quickly deliver emergency messages via high-tech billboards against contextual backgrounds.
Here are just some of the ways that OOH (out of home) media is forging innovative public / private partnerships with municipalities.
Working with Local Communities to Fight Human Trafficking
Since 2012, Clear Channel Outdoor (CCO) has conducted more than 20 campaigns to fight human trafficking, working with local municipalities, police and public interest groups around the country. Our campaigns are designed to raise awareness of this pervasive societal problem as well as to help victims get to safety while also assisting law enforcement to find criminals. Since 2012, we’ve donated more than $8 million of media and delivered more than 200 million impressions.
To give you some idea of the effectiveness of these efforts, in 2016, our Phoenix campaign drove 5,700 unique visitors to English and Spanish language websites in three months and led to the arrest of 185 sex buyers in only three weeks. Our work with Polaris, a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery, showed a dramatic increase in calls to the crisis hotline as well as a significant increase in calls from victims in participating markets.
Partnering with local communities to drive literacy and other education initiatives.
Virtually every community promotes educational initiatives to improve the lives of their community members, and many turn to OOH media to increase awareness and build support for city services.
Just this summer, CCO worked with the National Summer Learning Association by donating a national media campaign to elevate the importance of keeping all kids learning, safe and healthy during the summer months. As part of the campaign, CCO used its digital OOH media network to run PSAs on nearly 1,000 digital billboards across 28 markets.
Giving Emergency Management an Important New Tool to Reach the Public
Today, emergency management teams across the country use donated digital OOH media to communicate targeted messages on weather warnings, evacuations, shelter locations, and road detours.
In just the last few months, Clear Channel Outdoor teamed up with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and One America Appeal to assist during hurricanes Harvey and Irma, quickly activating digital billboards in affected areas to provide local communities with vital information, such as where to go for shelter, how to donate and how to get help.
We consider our role as partners to cities and emergency management to be one of the most essential functions we provide to communities around the country. Additionally, our company and our employees are highly committed and proud to provide this service.
Teaming Up with Law Enforcement to Fight Crime and Promote Public Safety
For well over a decade, OOH has partnered with local law enforcement to fight crime and promote important public safety issues. One of the most significant efforts came in 2002, when Roger Kemp, who lost his daughter to a violent crime, worked with Kansas law enforcement to use a billboard to raise awareness of the crime. The billboard led to a key tip and then, in 2004, a conviction.
Since then local law enforcement across the country have followed suit. In fact, today the OOH industry donates high-tech digital billboards coast to coast, even in Times Square, to publicize crimes. In fact, digital OOH media has generated consumer tips that have led to the apprehension of over 50 fugitives since 2007.
But these are only some of the ways OOH is partnering with local communities.
Come find out more at my City Summit Solution Session, Partnering to Prevent the Summer Learning Slide, Thursday, November 16 at 9:00 a.m. I hope to see you there and in a community near you, soon!
Jason King, Vice President of Corporate Communications, Clear Channel Outdoor Americas, oversees and executes communications and media strategies for Clear Channel Outdoor’s 38 markets in the U.S., plus over 200 airport advertising contracts operated by Clear Channel Airports. An accomplished media strategist, Jason has developed innovative PR campaigns for new Outdoor media assets including; Sunset Millennium, Penn Plaza NY, Boston’s South Station, Reagan and Dulles Airports.