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Drive for Your Life This Thanksgiving Break: Don't Be a #PhoneyDrive

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A team of six George Mason University students created a social media test campaign against texting and driving. With a goal of receiving at least 100 pledges to not text and drive over Thanksgiving break from Mason students, the team created social media graphics for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to spread their message. This is their final report.

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Drive for Your Life This Thanksgiving Break: Don't Be a #PhoneyDrive

  2. 2. In Virginia, a driver can be pulled over if he or she is suspected of texting while driving, and that driver is liable to receive a fine. Despite the law, this issue is a leading cause of vehicle accidents in Virginia.�Amongst the violators are teenagers and young adults, specifically college students. In a 2012 University of Michigan study, 26 percent of students admitted to reading or sending a text at least once every time that they drive. Not every ride was fatal, but if those people continue this habit or that number increases, one day it could be the last ride for them or another. As the largest public university in Virginia, George Mason University is well-equipped with drivers and pedestrians. With a high volume of students commuting to campus via car, Mason is susceptible to hosting violators. Since almost all students walk around campus in some capacity, there is also great risk for them to fall victim to texting and driving, meaning they could be injured or killed. In turn, Mason students, both drivers and pedestrians, deserve to understand the risks, signs and solutions to texting and driving. This is the place to encourage change. INTRODUCTION This document outlines the Drive For Your Life social media test campaign run by six George Mason University students against texting and driving. THE PROBLEM P A G E 2
  3. 3. Texting and driving has garned attentionon local, state and national levels. SECONDARY RESEARCH P A G E 3 In 2016, 13,000 drivers received tickets for texting and driving in Fairfax County. While sending or reading a text message, drivers take their eyes off the road for five seconds. If traveling 55 MPH, this is equivalent to driving the length of a football field. In 2019, Virginia lawmakers tightened restrictions against use of phones while driving. February 2019: Use of handheld mobile devices while driving is banned. Drivers can utilize their phones to use certain features, such as a GPS. State Local Corporations started distracted driving campaign, such as AT&T's It Can Wait. Nine out of 10 people use their smartphone while driving. 81 percent of people say they text and drive 57 percent of people are more likely to stop driving distracted if pressured by a friend or passenger. National
  4. 4. We wanted to find out more about Mason students' experience, or lack thereof, with texting and driving. We created a four question survey with three yes/no questions and one open-ended question. PRIMARY RESEARCH P A G E 4 1) Are you a Mason student? This is a baseline question to keep our focus on the primary audience, who is Mason students. 2) Do you text and drive while you're alone? Compared to the following question, we want to find out if people are more or less inclined to text and drive while others are present. 3) Do you text and drive while others are in the car? Compared to the previous question, we want to find out if people are more or less inclined to text and drive while others are present. 4) Where do you keep your phone while driving? As the only open-ended question, we want to determine the different places that drivers could keep their phones while driving. From my distribution of the survey, I received 15 responses. The totals for questions one through three are: 1) 15 yes - 0 no - 100 percent are Mason students 2) 10 yes - five no - 66.67 percent text and drive while alone 3) Seven yes - eight no - 46.67 percent text and drive while others are in the car 11 people said cup holder; Two people said passenger seat; One person said phone stand; and One person said on their lap. In addition, only four participants selected no for both question two and three, therefore 60 percent of participants text and drive while in the car. The answers for question four varied:
  5. 5. P A G E 5 LONG TERM GOAL OBJECTIVE STRATEGY The goal of the campaign is to convince Mason students that texting and driving is a toxic behavior, so we should rid the streets of drivers who text and driving. Gain 100 commitments through the pledge from Mason students to not text and drive during the Thanksgiving weekend from Nov. 27 through Dec. 1. Target the emotions of the audience, especially grief; and Utilize peer pressure
  6. 6. Post on at least one social media platform each day. Create a pledge. Start #PhoneyDriver. Create consequence video. Screen-record a conversation with a loved one. Create an "I drive for..." video. Based on the crafted schedule, there is one graphic readily available to be posted by all team members. Members are also encouraged to post original content as well. This two-part pledge provides participants the opportunity to read facts about texting and driving as well as gain ideas on how to be a safer driver. Used in all posts, this hashtag is a pun that sticks with consumers. The #PhoneyDriver tips are specific actions drivers can do to avoid the urge to use their phone while driving. This video explicitly shows a car accident that occurs as a result of texting and driving. This portrays a conversation with "mom" and shows a parents want for their children to make it home safe from school. Drawing heavily on emotions, this highlights the people and things that drivers go see. TACTICS P A G E 6
  7. 7. TASK SCHEDULE P A G E 7 DATE: The day that the content is supposed to be posted. PLATFORM: We utilized Twitter, Facebook (FB) and Instagram (Insta).� TOPIC OF POST: This is the generic subject of that day's post. RESPONSIBILITY: This is the team member who was responsible for creating the visual content and sharing that with the team members. NOTE: Each person was responsible for posting each day, In addition to the schedule, team members were also encouraged to create and share their own content each day. The�official test campaign ran from November 11 to December 2. Below is the task schedule until the start of the Thanksgiving weekend on November 27. After November 26, team members were simply responsible for their own continual promotion of the pledge.
  8. 8. TEST CAMPAIGN, "I DRIVE FOR..." VIDEO P A G E 8 Drawing heavily on emotions, this highlights the people and things that drivers go see. Examples include: my family, best friend and pets.
  9. 9. TEST CAMPAIGN, CONSEQUENCE VIDEO P A G E 9 This video explicitly shows a car accident that occurs as a result of texting and driving.
  10. 10. TEST CAMPAIGN, CONVERSATION WITH MOM P A G E � 1 0 This portrays a conversation with "mom" and shows a parents want for their children to make it home safe from college.
  11. 11. TEST CAMPAIGN, TWITTER P A G E 1 1 AT&T's distracted driving campaign replied to my tweet with a GIF. Nov. 11: The start of the campaign accompanied by my original graphic.
  12. 12. TEST CAMPAIGN, TWITTER P A G E � 1 2 Nov. 12: The pledge (pictured below) was officially launched. At the end of the test campaign, we received a total of 213 responses.
  13. 13. TEST CAMPAIGN, TWITTER P A G E � 1 3 Three #PhoneyDriver tips were posted on Twitter to give drivers ideas on how to avoid using their phone while driving.
  14. 14. TEST CAMPAIGN, TWITTER P A G E � 1 4 Nov.�21: The screen- recording video was launched on multiple social media platforms.� Nov. 27: The "I drive for..." video was launched on multiple social media platforms.
  15. 15. TEST CAMPAIGN, INSTAGRAM P A G E � 1 5 Two graphics were created specifically for Instagram stories. In addition, I posted a screen-recording to show how easy it is to take the pledge.
  16. 16. TEST CAMPAIGN, FACEBOOK P A G E � 1 6 Nov. 22: The consequence video was posted on Facebook. The pledge was continually pushed across multiple platforms.
  17. 17. ANALYSIS P A G E � 1 7 This team put in significant effort to make this campaign a reality, and that effort was accompanied by both pros and cons. LESSONS LEARNED PROS Organization:�We had a set schedule from the beginning. With one exception, the team followed the plan and executed when needed. Cohesiveness: A color scheme of blue and black, specifically royal blue, was assigned on the first day. The graphics were created by different people, but having this kept the unity. CONS Individual contribution:�Each person contributed to the final product, but some contributed significantly more than others. Plus, one graphic was missed, which resulted in one lost day of promotion. Topic of campaign: Our agreed upon topic was texting and driving; however, a lot of the content was geared towards distracted driving in general. 1) Constant communication is necessary. 2) Draft a deatiled plan - and follow it! 3) Hold other team members accountable.
  18. 18. 1) Focus the conversation. Our focus was originally texting and driving; however, throughout the campaign, some posts focused on distracted driving in general. I believe the campaign would be more effective if it focused only on distracted driving as a whole. With a broader category of topics, this presents more opportunities for the content creator to reach and appeal to a wider audience 2) Adjust the pledge to make it more shareable. The current pledge is effective because it makes people aware of the campaign as well as the dangers of texting and driving. Once people take it, though, it is easy to forget. To give the pledge more social currency, the end could include an "I took the pledge" or "I drive for..." graphic to be shared on social media. 3) Partner with larger distracted driving campaigns. Upon posting and tagging @ItCanWait, AT&T's campaign against distracted driving, on Twitter, the account replied and asked us to take their pledge. To give the campaign more social currency, we could reach out to this campaign individually to see if we could partner with their campaign. Essentially, they could share ours while we share theirs. PROPOSALS P A G E � 1 8 This campaign has the capability to take off on a larger scale, but it will require more coordination. I propose the following actions to make it happen.