Brookfield Renewable Power

Public Education

Public Safety Outreach Program

Summary

The goals of Brookfield’s public safety outreach program is to help reduce public safety accidents and near-miss incidents in and around Brookfield’s hydropower facilities and to expand the general public’s awareness of the potential risks associated with boating, swimming and recreational activities by river environments, particularly when in close proximity to hydropower operations.

These objectives are accomplished through a variety of marketing communications outreach initiatives at outlets/venues in close proximity to Brookfield’s U.S. Operations, including: advertising campaigns in newspapers; public service announcements (PSA) aired on radio/television stations; advertisements in regional tourism/sports publications; educational posters; safety presentations developed exclusively for high school-age young adults; presence at community fairs/festivals and development of safety-specific brochures. Brookfield collaborates with a multitude of national and state public/private agencies on its safety outreach program. The entire public safety outreach program incorporates the National Safe Boating Council’s Wear It! life jacket messaging.

Background

Public safety is one of Brookfield’s top priorities, and its level of significance drives the company’s public safety outreach initiatives. With 101 hydropower facilities scattered throughout the United States, the way Brookfield’s disseminates its public safety messaging may vary within each operations but its messaging remains consistent.

Challenge

Essentially Brookfield faces four primary challenges for its public safety outreach program:

  1. Brookfield’s 101 hydropower facilities are scattered throughout the United States, often in remote, rural areas away from large population centers. Thus, there are limited media resources available to cover this vast geography.
  2. Brookfield’s safety program targets individuals ages 18 to 65 that may recreate on or near water.  The messages must resonate year-round with numerous target audiences – including locals that are familiar with a river to people visiting a region who are unfamiliar with local waterways. In addition, most safety-related accidents occur during the warm weather months.
  3. Brookfield understands the importance of leveraging relationships with public/private entities, thereby using existing public education programs for a larger, broader campaign that conveys similar messages. This approach is particularly challenging since many public agencies are experiencing diminished financial and staffing resources.
  4. Brookfield works to convey public safety messages to multi-lingual audiences by incorporating pictograms into many of its safety signage and marketing collateral.

Innovation

The paramount innovation of Brookfield’s public safety outreach program is the public/private collaboration!

For instance in Maine, Brookfield and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlifekicked-off its unique collaboration by giving away a limited supplied of life jackets at Millinocket’s Kid’s Day event held on July 3, 2010.  The safety awareness campaign also included televised PSAs that ran on stations in the Portland and Bangor, Maine areas for ten weeks from July 4 through Labor Day weekend in September. Finally, Brookfield and the Maine Warden Service also co-sponsored Fox 23’s Alive at Five Concert Series in Downtown Portland on Thursday evenings from July 8 through August 5. The partners also co-sponsored the WCSH 8th Annual Downtown Auto Show in downtown Portland on Saturday, August 23.

Results

In New York alone, Brookfield’s newspaper campaign, with 130 seasonal safety advertisements, reached more than 300,000 readers.  The company’s radio PSA campaign had a total of 5,401 radio spots secured, through a partnership with the New York State Broadcasters Association.  Brookfield had a similarly successful campaign in Maine with television PSAs.

Stakeholder Quotes

“Brookfield Renewable Power has been a key partner in Wear It! New York.  That partnership included reaching out to audiences that recreated near their facilities with safety signage and informational materials. Brookfield also sponsored numerous public service announcements, both in print and radio, in a coordinate effort to reach the recreational boater. These types of outreach are invaluable in spreading the core message that life jackets do save lives.

Once again Brookfield Renewable Power has shown its commitment to public safety through sponsorship of numerous ads and radio spots promoting the “Wear It! New York” safety message directed at reinforcing the importance of remembering to always wear a life jacket when on the water.” – Brian Kempf, New York State Boating Law Administrator, Albany, NY