Effecting change from public awareness and entering the lexicon: ‘Sustainability is the biggest challenge in all of these campaigns’

August 8, 2018 — The Washington Post: “The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is launching a public education campaign… ‘End Family Fire’…seeks to prevent unintentional deaths by urging gun owners to take steps that would prevent children or guests from accessing firearms…Kris Brown, Brady’s co-president, said… ‘Just like the term designated driver changed perceptions about drinking and driving, the term Family Fire will help create public awareness to change attitudes and actions…[to] play a role in reducing the number of innocent lives lost to gun violence.’ But how does a phrase like designated driver end up in the lexicon? Mass media campaigns have…to be unobtrusive enough not to offend but memorable…Mostly, the phrase or slogan needs to be used, often…it takes years of sustained use for something to seep into the public’s consciousness. Like designated driver. In the mid-1980s, media coverage of drunk driving waned, and deaths started to rise. In 1985, the Center for Health Communication at the Harvard School of Public Health opened. It was led by Jay Winsten, who made tackling drunk driving its first priority… ‘Sustainability is the biggest challenge in all of these campaigns’…A lot has changed since Winsten brought designated driver into common usage… ‘Given the fragmented media marketplace and extremely short attention span of the general public, even if you break through with a creative idea…What are you going to do for the rest of the year and the year after that?'”
Read The Washington Post article by Katie Zezima