YRT/Viva’s “Personal Space” campaign wins Ovation from IABC Toronto

We just received notice that Acart’s campaign for York Region Transit (YRT/Viva) was selected for an Award of Excellence in the International Association of Business Communicators’ 2014 Ovation Awards.

Taking the honour in the category of “Communication Management – Social Responsibility including Economic, Societal and Environmental Development” the anti-harassment campaign was YRT/Viva’s effort to prevent on-board assaults through awareness.

By showing riders that many kinds of abuse — including verbal, sexual and bullying — are illegal and reportable to police, the campaign helped both victims and bystanders feel empowered to take action. At the same time, the not-so-subtle reminder that YRT/Viva was serious about uniformed enforcement on the buses was intended to deter some offenders.

Poster from Personal Space Campaign: Did you hear that? We did.

The resulting metrics were fantastic! The campaign ran from June 2012 to February 2012. By the end of the campaign, the number of reported assaults on YRT/Viva went down from 23 in 2011 to 9 in 2012. Meanwhile, crimes that had never been reported before, such as “uttering threats,” “indecent acts,” and “suspicious incidents” were now being reported by passengers. (In small numbers, however: 3, 4, and 6 times respectively.)

And as a demonstration that social awareness really can generate tangible results, in 2012 the campaign provoked unprecedented reports of “safety concerns” (37) and “assistance needed” (29). YRT/Viva riders had, indeed, answered the call to help make their buses safe for everyone!

We’d like to thank our great clients at YRT/Viva for continuing to give us opportunities to do work that matters, and to congratulate them for this recognition of their marketing excellence.

See the rest of the “Personal Space” campaign here.

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