Partnering for a purpose
Author: Devin R. Negrete, Dig Safely New York
By now, nearly everyone has heard the phrase “It takes a village,” pointing to the teamwork and collaboration needed to make an important goal possible. This is especially true in the not-for-profit world, where staff and budgets are often lean. That is why Dig Safely New York relies on the collaborative relationships they have established with member organizations to help spread the message around the need for safe digging practices. Dig Safely New York has always found ways to work with their members to promote damage prevention, and this year they are targeting even more innovative shared campaigns.
A shared campaign is a perfect example of a highly collaborative relationship and strategy. A member may have a specific safety focus they want to emphasize – such as safer digging in tolerance zones to reduce damages – or just a general safety reminder. Typically, the member provides a budget for campaign development and implementation, and Dig Safely New York’s marketing staff works with them to develop the creative concepts and deliverables to achieve their goals. For example, National Grid provided funds to create an engaging campaign to promote safety and Dig Safely New York staff created Grid Garden Giveaway, a contest aimed at homeowners who work – and dig – in their gardens. National Grid had a damage prevention outreach need and Dig Safely New York’s marketing staff facilitated their efforts.
Dig Safely New York also partners with member utilities for their annual nursery program, a damage prevention effort where they send out free seed packets and T-shirts to nurseries in Upstate New York. The packets have the Dig Safely New York logo and the phrase “Always 811 Before You Dig” to encourage DIYers to contact 811. Members had the opportunity to sponsor a countertop display box where they gained brand awareness and association with safe digging education.
Finally, Dig Safely New York is in the planning stages of a shared campaign with another member who has identified excavators who have either not filed tickets prior to digging, or who have caused damage to their utilities. Dig Safely New York, as always, remains committed to safety education, damage prevention and collaboration with their partners to make that all possible.