Understanding that lack of experience, poor judgment, and universal distractors like cell phone use and texting put teenage drivers at risk, the Ford Motor Company Fund, the Governors Highway Safety Association, and a panel of safety experts established a safe driving program in 2003.
Known as the Ford Driving Skills for Life (DSFL), the program was designed to teach new drivers necessary skills beyond what is taught in standard drivers education courses. In the summer of 2015, Ford Motor Company sponsored the first ever DSFL “Midwest Summer Tour” and hosted events in six states. LS2group was responsible for events and activities in four of the six states.
LS2group, with Direct Impact, coordinated with the Ford Motor Company Fund and state partners throughout the summer to successfully plan, promote, and populate four Midwest Driving Skills for Life summer tour stops in Fargo, North Dakota; Omaha, Nebraska; Des Moines, Iowa; and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The team conducted extensive market research and personalized outreach to hundreds of community groups and local media to garner additional publicity and encourage entities to share registration information with eligible participants in their networks. Hundreds of students and parents were recruited for the program, exceeding full capacity for several sessions.
Dozens of earned media hits were also secured before and during each event as a result of pitching efforts, including radio interviews, broadcast segments, print coverage, and social media coverage. LS2group maintained an onsite presence throughout each event, staffing all media engagements, coordinating interviews, and fielding participant inquiries when needed. As a result, both media and participants reported high levels of satisfaction with the program experience and requested information on when the program would be returning to their community.