DECEMBER 03, 2020: First Coast Guard District’s Public Affairs Team recognized as the 2020 Operation Dry Water Media Award winner
*This is a transcript of the "2020 Operation Dry Water Media Award Winner Recognized " video from the virtual recognition ceremony on Thursday, November 19th, 2020.
Hello everybody! We hope you are staying safe and healthy during these times. As many of you know, the Operation Dry Water campaign typically recognizes all of its award winners in-person at the NASBLA Annual Conference. However, this year the Annual Conference was held virtually, so we were only able to recognize some of these winners during the short awards ceremony which took place on September 30th.
Today, we are meeting virtually again to recognize and show our appreciation to one of our 2020 Operation Dry Water award winners!
The Operation Dry Water Awards Program recognizes law enforcement officers and agencies that are making a positive impact on boating under the influence (BUI) awareness and enforcement in their communities.
The Media Award recognizes an agency that used a media outreach platform to promote awareness of the Operation Dry Water campaign and to make a difference in recreational boating safety.
The 2020 Operation Dry Water Media Award winner is the First Coast Guard District’s Public Affairs Team.
The First Coast Guard District’s Public Affairs Team masterfully employed five social media platforms and provided input and support to 42 Facebook pages managed by subordinate units. The staff's creative and successful media outreach campaign reached 3.2 million people on social media, generating more than 71,000 engagements. Working closely with federal, state and local law-enforcement partners, the First District team engaged and informed the boating public on the dangers of boating under the influence, while emphasizing general boating safety.
Equally adept at leveraging traditional media outlets, the First District’s Public Affairs Team reached 7.5 million viewers with a publicity value of over $480,000. The team sent press releases to over 46,000 outlets, reaching boaters in eight states across New England and the New York Tri-State area. These releases resulted in more than 18 inquiries, several news articles, and a joint agency press conference on Long Island, New York.
The First District’s Public Affairs Team captured original imagery, and created unique graphics, layouts and video productions to highlight safe boating practices and discourage the unlawful use of alcohol and illegal substances on the water.
Furthermore, a revamped social media campaign highlighted unique issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, preparing audiences for increased activity on the waterways and promoting social distancing.
These preemptive outreach efforts can be tied to a 13% decrease in boating incidents that required a Coast Guard response throughout the District's area of responsibility during the busy summer boating season. Congratulations to the First Coast Guard District’s Public Affairs Team!
Now at this time, Lieutenant Schmid, if you want to provide comments, that would be great!
First thing I want to say is thank you to NASBLA, as well as the hundreds of agencies out there that are so passionate about Operation Dry Water. I strongly believe that our efforts reduce the number of incidents and reduce the number of fatalities around the fourth of July holiday every year. So thank you for that, and I just want to thank the team.
You know, this is definitely a joint effort. We have folks up here in Boston and we also have a detachment down in New York. We have public affairs specialists that are so passionate about recreational boating safety, and they do such a tremendous job and I thank them. And I also thank the field. Those small boat stations out there that provide us with a lot of the content and are out there conducting the mission, doing the bulk of the BUI enforcement. Without them, we wouldn't be here accepting this award now, so it's definitely a team effort. This is a team award, and we're very appreciative for the honor.
Thanks, Lieutenant. Mariana, would you like to provide some comments?
Sure, thank you. I just wanted to add, in addition to what Lieutenant Schmid said. Walt Taylor, Office of Boating Safety, and NASBLA, the amount of data that you are able to provide for us, kind of above and beyond what is normally provided, allowed us to lay a baseline down, and let the media see those numbers. And I think that's what got the attention.
Grab the attention, say, ‘hey, we've got a lot of new boaters out here, potentially. Potentially, you know, a lot of issues coming up.’
So when we're able to get ahold of those hard numbers, and turn those into an eye-catching public awareness campaign, it really helps.
So, the New York and New Jersey FDNY, NYPD, New Jersey Port Police, everybody. All of our partner agencies down here in the tristate area, along with Connecticut, Sector Long Island Sound and Sector New York. The amount of man hours that went into it, along with all the Petty Officers. Truly impressive, and really looking forward to working again with those partners next year.
So thanks for this, though. We really appreciate the recognition. It means a lot.
Thanks, Mariana. Again, congratulations! Excellent work by the team.
So, I do have a question. Is that thing like the Stanley Cup? Are you all going to pass it around to people?
I got a spot right here for it!
Yes, we'll try to pass it around to the different offices, for sure.
Alright, good deal. And finally, again, NASBLA would like to thank the First Coast Guard District’s Public Affairs Team for their dedication to spreading awareness about the dangers of boating under the influence and also the impact of the Operation Dry Water campaign. We appreciate your efforts and ability to utilize multiple applications and delivery channels to amplify this messaging throughout the northern United States. Again, congratulations to everyone. Thank you!
Watch the full Operation Dry Water Media Award recognition video on NASBLA's Vimeo channel!