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August 2, 2010
When Police Don't Wear Seatbelts, Do Messages Matter?
Here's a humbling indication of how challenging it can be to get a worthy message across and accepted: Police officers in Las Vegas haven't been wearing their seat belts, even though three members of the department were killed last year in vehicle crashes.

Police, presumably in Las Vegas, too, preach that motorists should wear their seat belts. But here's a department that's felt compelled to order up a PR campaign among its very own to get that message accepted. PR firm R&R Partners has the challenging job of prompting Las Vegas cops to buckle-up.

"Officers will be watching a video," reports the Nevada Appeal, "on the importance of wearing seat belts and driving safely, featuring local officers who have been in crashes.

“'Buckle-up' decals will be put on the outside of police cars above the door handles. Stickers that say, 'Safe driving it's up to you,' will be installed on the dashboard of each car near the steering wheel.

"Posters that feature officers and their families will be placed in all of the department's briefing rooms."

R&R says, "We move minds. It's what we do."  

Somehow, though, we're not confident that all this will do it. Is there something about the human condition that keeps us from accepting good advice, acting on worthy messages, unless it satisfies our deepest economic or emotional interests? Don't really know, just asking.

PR people wiser that we are may have an answer. Hope some of them are in Las Vegas.

Hey, guys, buckle up. Please. 

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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