Connecting the Dots: The Community Against Preventable Injuries
Title translated into English
Connecting the Dots: The Community Against Preventable Injuries
Film: Duration in minutes
This video is an overview of The Community Against Preventable Injuries (Preventable), a social marketing campaign based in British Columbia, Canada. The video highlights the Preventable campaign across its many platforms: mass media (TV, radio, and digital), ambient messaging (billboards, signage, out of home), and community and media events (temporary installations). The video highlights Preventable's campaign efforts to change attitudes and beliefs about injuries at work, at home, on the road, on the water, and at play. It also acknowledges the contributions of our partners across Canada.
Preventable uses a mixed-media, social marketing approach that includes delivering the message at the time and place where a potential injury can happen, including by the marina, by the road, at an intersection, where you park your bike, at the beach, or in the workplace:
- TV and radio advertising
- Out of home signage (billboards, transit stands, bike stands)
- Organic and paid media spots
- Partnership events and temporary installations
- Social media coverage
The message of Preventable's campaign is to shift attitudes and transform behaviours towards serious preventable injuries without shocking or shaming people, and ultimately reduce the human and financial burden caused by these injuries. We recognize that attitudes and behaviour towards preventable injuries at work can have an effect on your attitudes and behaviour towards injuries outside of work, and vice versa. Our campaigns call attention to that little voice inside your head that knows that sometimes, injuries can (and do) happen to good people. Based on years of formative research, Preventable serves to give a reminder at the "moment of risk"—the time and place where a potential injury can happen.
Sample Key Messages:
- It’s time to get serious about preventable injuries.
- If you think serious injuries just “happen,” have a word with yourself.
- Preventable injuries are the leading cause of death for British Columbians aged 1-44.
- Think drinking and winter sports is a good mix? Seriously?
- In a rush at a school zone? Seriously?
- If you think only pro athletes get concussions, have a word with yourself.
- If you don’t think you’ll need a lifejacket today, have a word with yourself.
Preventable is a province-wide, multi-partner organization raising awareness, transforming attitudes, and ultimately changing behaviours. A registered non-profit organization launched in 2009, the goal of Preventable and its partners is to significantly reduce the number and severity of preventable injuries in the province of British Columbia (BC), located on the west coast of Canada. Preventable’s strategy is based on two years of extensive research to develop a comprehensive understanding of how and why preventable injuries occur throughout the province. Preventable’s work is made possible through the financial and in-kind support of a variety of organizations that continue to sign on as partners in fighting the epidemic of preventable injuries in BC. Now in its 11th year of activity, the campaign is an evolution in Preventable’s ongoing discussion with British Columbians to change the discourse that preventable injuries are not just “accidents.” Preventable has successfully launched campaigns in the province of Alberta and Atlantic Canada.
Preventable's foundations lie in an evidence-focused, research-based approach. Instead of making assumptions, Preventable spent three years talking to Canadians, asking them about their attitudes towards preventable injuries.
We found that British Columbians knew which behaviours are risky and how to avoid them, they just weren’t paying attention to what they already knew. Instead of feeling worried about injuries, they felt ambivalent towards them. Preventable saw an opportunity to speak to people about their attitude towards injuries, and we wanted to do it on the audience’s terms. We asked British Columbians how they wanted to be reminded about serious injuries and designed campaigns based on this feedback.
The common thread linking all preventable injuries was attitude—a deeply-held, yet erroneous belief that preventable injuries only happen to “other people.” They said, "Serious injuries only happen to others," "Accidents happen," and "It'll never happen to me."
Preventable calls attention to that little voice inside your head that knows that sometimes, injuries can (and do) happen to good people. Our campaigns give people a reminder at the "moment of risk"—the time and place where a potential injury can happen.
We market-test all campaign materials prior to launch, ensuring that the campaign will resonate with the people for whom it is intended. We also track campaign performance in a number of ways, and poll our audience regularly for their feedback, assess performance metrics, and review provincial health statistics.
Ongoing evaluation shows that British Columbians are more aware than ever that injuries—from crashes, falls, poisoning, drowning, and others—are preventable, and that our attitudes about how we approach everyday risks at home, at work, at play, and on the road have a significant role to play in prevention.
A recent study showed that British Columbians perceive road traffic-related injuries to be more preventable overall than other types of injuries, such as falls, poisoning, drowning, etc. (1) Yet, people who have seen the Preventable campaign perceive different types of injuries as more similar (i.e. they are “connecting the dots”) than those who have not seen the campaign, suggesting that our campaign is helping them recognize that most injuries are preventable.
Long-standing efforts to reduce road-related injuries, such as seatbelt laws, speed enforcement and safer vehicle design, have raised awareness and beliefs that traffic-related injuries are preventable, but the Preventable campaign has helped take it one step further and helped British Columbians make the link between attitudes and behaviours.
In addition to the shifts in attitude, BC has seen a significant reduction* in injury-related deaths in both the 0-24 and 25-54 year-old age groups since the campaign launched in 2009. This effect translates into a 9% reduction among 25-54 year-olds, 27% reduction among 0-24 year-olds, and approximately 5 fewer injury deaths per year.
The campaign is consistently rated as informative, relevant, credible, and encourages self-reflection.
Preventable has built close relationships with more than 100 partner organizations across the country. With the knowledge, skills, and support of partners like these, we’re reaching even more people in the moments and places where injuries occur and can be prevented. Our diverse community of partners come together under a single issue, under a single banner, and using a single approach. We are connecting the dots that injuries can happen wherever you are: at home, at work, on the road, and at play.
(1) Karbakhsh M, Beaulieu E, Smith J, Zheng A, Turcotte K, Pike I. Public attitudes towards the preventability of transport and non-transport related injuries: Can a social marketing campaign make a difference?. Prev Med Rep. 2019;13:179–182. Published 2019 Jan 2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6327067/
*pre- and post-campaign launch reductions significant at p<0.05
Canadian adults aged 25-54 years old
Sixth International Safety Media Awards (ISMAs) – 2018: Gold in Audio (Holiday Jingle); Silver in Media Evaluation; Honourable Mentions for both Ultra-Short Video and Print; Finalist for Overall Campaign