The ZAC Foundation, a Connecticut-based nonprofit dedicated to drowning prevention through educating tens of thousands of underserved children and driving public awareness on the importance of water safety, engaged NS after their founding to design and execute a long-term strategic plan to reduce drowning nationally using public relations and communications tactics. NS generated a plan to develop core partnerships including the American Red Cross, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), TIME for Kids Magazine, local emergency responders in more than 30 of the highest media DMAs in the country, and Olympic swimmers Rowdy Gaines, Janet Evans and Michael Phelps, among others. NS utilized those partnerships to target the highest drowning states and cities in the country to host educational programming and engage the media in a fun and interesting way in which families could learn through the media about water safety.
NS created “ZAC Camps” – a program executed in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America in which young swimmers learned the importance of water safety both in and out of the water. The Camps were optimized for media attention so the message reached hundreds of thousands of local residents in the communities where ZAC Camps were hosted. In addition to driving awareness in the community, NS included government leaders to leverage their media standing and messaging channels (e.g., earned media, social media) to advance the mission and message. As a result of the tremendous work nationally through the ZAC Camp program, The ZAC Foundation was invited to testify in 2017 before the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee on the importance of advancing critical pool and spa safety legislation to prevent future drownings and entrapments.
In six years, NS helped The ZAC Foundation personally educate more than 15,000 children about water safety, and generated nearly 200 million media impressions through local media as well as numerous national profile and educational pieces featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, CNN, Fox News, NBC News, ABC News, AP and USA Today, among others. More importantly, through programming and media engagement, the Foundation was able to help reduce the number of reported fatal child drowning in swimming pools and spas involving children younger than 5 — the most vulnerable population — by 17 percent nationwide since 2010.
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“By educating children across the country on water safety, we were able to help save lives!” Danielle Hagen, Senior Vice President
National Campaign with a Connecticut-based Foundation
National Advocacy, Awareness and Education Campaign to Save Lives
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