Drowning Prevention Nonprofit Wins National PR Awards

The National Drowning Prevention Alliance won PR Newswire's Earnies Award for best outcome based on listening, monitoring and measurement and is a finalist in PR News Nonprofit Awards for public service.

Feb 28, 2012, 09:00 ET from National Drowning Prevention Alliance

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Feb. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) earned national recognition for its outstanding public education outreach. Its social media campaign recently won PR Newswire's Earnies Award in the category of 'Best Outcome Based on Listening, Monitoring, and Measurement.' Additionally, NDPA placed as a finalist in in the Public Service category of PR News Nonprofit Awards for its overall outreach. The accolades come just as the organization prepares for its 11th Annual National Drowning Prevention Symposium, March 8-9 in San Diego, California.

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"The NDPA is able to carry out a wide variety of ongoing public education programs through the combined effort of a diverse, passionate group of experts and organizations across the United States," said NDPA Executive Director Kim Burgess, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. "This fast-growing network helps us reach a vast audience with our life saving message."

PR Newswire's Earnies Awards recognize innovation in social media. NDPA won the award for a successful campaign in which it monitored, shared and contributed to conversations about aquatic safety, especially in Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn.

In June 2011, the NDPA contracted with Keely Saye of KeelySaye.com, an inbound marketing specialist based in Columbia, South Carolina, to carry out its social media campaign. Saye helped the organization find, follow, engage and share information with aquatic and child safety experts. This helped position NDPA as a thought leader in the aquatic safety sector. Within the first three months, NDPA's Facebook reach grew 140 percent from 848 to 2,031 fans, and Twitter grew from fewer than 100 followers to 435 – a 335 percent improvement.

"Once NDPA established itself as a leader in the online conversation about drowning prevention, we launched its first social media conversion campaign," says Saye. "The Lifesaver of the Year contest in Facebook continued to build momentum by integrating a wide variety of communication channels."

NPDA's public relations consultant Beverly M. Payton, owner of Payton Communications based in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, promoted the Lifesaver of the Year contest in print, online and broadcast news media. Meanwhile, Saye microblogged and targeted specific demographics through pay-per-click digital advertising in Facebook and Google.

NDPA more than doubled its Facebook reach and substantially increased its Twitter followers during the Lifesaver of the Year campaign, which ran from November 2011 to February 2012. By the end of February the organization had nearly 6,000 Facebook friends, representing a 525 percent growth, and more than 660 Twitter followers, a 551 percent growth. NDPA's LinkedIn and YouTube audiences have also grown substantially.

"Social media outreach is crucial to NDPA's communications strategy because messages can multiply exponentially," says Payton. "NDPA has ongoing, meaningful conversations with key influencers in the aquatics safety sector. These influencers, in turn, share our messages with their own networks and those networks then communicate key safety information to parents and other target audiences."

NDPA's social media campaign is part of an overall strategic communications plan Payton drafted and submitted to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on its behalf in May 2010 when the federal agency sought organizations to conduct public education about child drowning prevention to supplement its Pool Safely campaign. In September 2010 the NDPA received a yearlong contract from the CPSC. The execution of that plan placed NDPA among three finalists in PR News Nonprofit Awards competition in the Public Service category. The winners in each category will be announced at a March 15 luncheon at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

In addition to traditional and social media outreach, NDPA created video and audio public service announcements, had key subject matter experts exhibit and present at national trade shows and events, forged strategic partnerships with important influencers, created brochures and flyers for specific audiences and developed a drowning prevention preschool lesson plan.

Drowning is among the top 10 leading causes of unintentional death for all ages nationally. Between 1999 and 2009 an average of more than 3,500 U.S. lives were lost each year due to unintentional drowning.


The National Drowning Prevention Alliance is a volunteer-driven 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization founded in 2004. NDPA members are dedicated to preventing drowning for all age groups in all bodies of water through public education, advocacy and strategic partnerships. The public is invited to join by visiting www.ndpa.org.

KeelySaye.com is an inbound marketing consulting agency that specializes in new media strategies that drive website traffic and convert leads. New rules of marketing and public relations have changed the way consumers receive and respond to information, and KeelySaye.com helps marketers get found in today's consumer-to-consumer driven marketplace.

Payton Communications is a boutique, full-service, virtual public relations agency with core competencies in strategic communications planning, media relations and corporate social responsibility. Owner Beverly M. Payton holds an M.A. in journalism, professional accreditation in public relations and has more than three decades of diverse communications experience.

SOURCE National Drowning Prevention Alliance