OHS advertising

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WorkSafe Victoria is marketing well by tweaking their OHS advertising messages to fit the economic or seasonal requirements of workers and workplaces.  In mid-December 2008, the “Homecoming” ads have been updated to provide a more obvious link to people working during the holiday season.

John Merritt, CEO of WorkSafe, tries to link their two ongoing campaigns – Homecomings and young people at work in the media statement that accompanies the TV release of the ads.  He said, on 15 December 2008, 

“Employers at this time of year need to take exceptional care to ensure their people are properly trained, supervised and working in a safe way.  

“This is particularly true of industries where there are many people taking jobs straight from school or university.  

“With the working environment to become more frantic in the next couple of weeks, now is the time to ensure every workplace has the systems and procedures in place to minimise risk.”

This is true but does not seem to fit the media scheduling.  The television ads began airing this week but 
“The campaign will also run on radio, be shown on outdoor billboards and in cinemas from Boxing Day”

It seems odd to stagger the campaign through the first half of the summer break when the people taking on seasonal jobs, particularly in retail, are starting work prior to Christmas.

Also, previous campaigns aimed at young people  have been criticised by some who say that television is not necessarily the best medium to communicate with the target age group.   Others see the ad as advocating the wrong approach

John Merritt mentions in his statement above that now is the time for reviewing and updating safety systems and procedures.  It could be argued that, in a practical sense, this is unlikely to occur so close to Christmas, when companies are winding down or operating frantically to beat the Christmas deadlines.  

Many school leavers began their new, and first jobs, throughout November.  This would have been the time when safety inductions were conducted and any other training provided.

The campaign certainly has considerable value and it is heartening that WorkSafe has committed to keeping the Homecoming campaign fresh but occasionally the communication strategy seems to hiccup.

For this posting, SafetyAtWorkBlog contacted WorkSafe to include a copy of the ad in this blog and other online OHS publications.  This option wasn’t available at the time 0f posting and the video has yet to appear on YouTube. The posting will be updated when video is available.

Kevin Jones

Categories advertising, communication, government, OHS, risk, safety, training, Uncategorized, youngTags , , ,

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