Every year, texting while driving is involved in 200,000 car crashes*. To fight this epidemic**, AT&T launched It Can Wait, a youth-focused public safety campaign, in 2010. As the program has evolved, VOX Global’s grassroots and issue advocacy expertise helped AT&T effectively spread this lifesaving information nationwide.
As AT&T worked to combat the dangers of texting while driving, the campaign’s powerful central message – no text is worth a life – resonated strongly with many groups interested in public safety. In support of one of the campaign’s key strategies, VOX helped AT&T mobilize this vast network of advocates. These groups included non-profit organizations, state and local policymakers and federal agencies. We helped engage these groups at the campaign’s onset, build relationships and develop communications toolkits. These actions empowered campaign supporters to spread the no texting while driving message independently – and recruit new supporters to the cause.
As the national campaign gained traction, VOX planned local events to help AT&T most effectively promote It Can Wait on the ground through speaking opportunities, conference exhibits and other events. In 2013 alone, VOX worked with AT&T’s state teams to provide materials and support for over 4,000 It Can Wait events around the country, including the campaign’s culminating national event on September 19th – Drive 4 Pledges Day – on Capitol Hill.
In order to maximize both the external and internal impact, we planned volunteer opportunities for AT&T employees – who can be one of a company’s biggest assets as brand ambassadors.
As AT&T’s focus shifted from awareness to activism and solutions, VOX supported efforts to pass texting while driving bans at the state level and raise the issue’s profile with influential officials. This included day-to-day efforts like preparing materials and planning for events attended by federal and state policymakers. VOX Global’s monitoring of legislative efforts around the country provided AT&T with information essential to monitoring the campaign’s impact. Currently, 44 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands ban text messaging for all drivers.
At the start of 2013, Mashable named It Can Wait one of the “12 Most Memorable Marketing Campaigns” and in 2014, AT&T found that sharing the It Can Wait message could prevent and a crash and save a life. Preliminary research suggests a positive statistical correlation between people sharing the message and a projected reduction in crashes. AT&T is serious about keeping their customers safe. The It Can Wait campaign will continue to raise awareness and promote solutions for texting and driving.