End Distracted Driving (EndDD.org) is a distracted driving awareness movement that hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. and Canada have heard about. The campaign has been gaining momentum since Joel Feldman and Dianne Anderson founded EndDD.org in memory of their daughter Casey, who was killed by a distracted driver.
With the help of community leaders, trial lawyers and other professionals, EndDD.org provides science-based presentations to middle school, high school and college students, and to adults, parents and businesses. To date, more than 325,000 teens and adults have seen EndDD.org presentations, and more talks are being scheduled every day.
The presentations are informative, interesting, and inspiring, and there are still MANY schools the campaign has not reached. Scheduling an EndDD.org presentation is all about getting in front of the movers and shakers who get excited and get it on the school’s schedule. Below are a few tips for getting schools to say yes.
Step One: Talk to the Right People
When reaching out, make sure you’re speaking to the right stakeholders from the beginning. Who does the scheduling for lunchtime presentations and assemblies? Sure, the school principal could easily get EndDD.org talks booked, but they’re often too busy and difficult to pin down for a meeting. Instead, think about the people who are working with the students all the time – especially those whose job it is to take safety seriously. That means possibly contacting and talking with the school nurses, health aides, physical education instructors, counselors, athletic coaches and trainers, and parents.
A word about parents: there’s always that one parent or group of parents in every class who gets things done. Who is in charge of the freshman class? What about the eighth graders? And so on. The student class president might be able to get involved, too. It’s all about getting access to the people who aren’t school administrators but can easily elevate the idea of a talk to the right people.
Important: When you’ve found the right person to help you get the talks scheduled, be sure to explain to them that the presentations are free and can fit into a class period.
The local mayor’s office or other community-based organizations might think it’s a good idea to have a district-wide program using EndDD.org. Partnering with other safety organizations, police officers, and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) chapters has the potential to push the campaign further. Reaching out to these groups and public figures could mean gaining the opportunity to join forces with other nearby speakers and visit every school in the area. That’s truly maximizing your impact.
Utilizing the Resources on EndDD.org
EndDD.org has a dedicated page of speaker resources that take the guesswork out of the entire process – from the initial cover letter to the full student presentation to additional campaign materials to help you spread the message.
When you’re ready to officially pitch the idea to schools, there’s a customizable cover letter to introduce the EndDD.org Student Awareness Initiative. However, don’t just send the letter or an email and hope it’s enough to convince someone about the power of this campaign. Attach the outreach documents along with the letter – they provide some additional info to show credibility of EndDD.org and its work and mission. I can’t stress enough how useful these resources are as you reach out and create buzz about the presentations.
Together, these materials describe the full breadth of the initiative and the effectiveness of the free, scientifically based presentation you’ll give to their students. Again, be clear that the free presentations run about 35 to 45 minutes so they can fit into a class period. This is an important selling point when you’re discussing the presentation from a logistics standpoint.
In partnership with local lawyer associations, EndDD.org has also created custom presentations for targeted areas. If you have ideas about how to make your presentation even more effective in your area, call the organization at (855) 363-3478 or email info@EndDD.org.
Timing Your Contact
EndDD.org volunteer speakers who are successful in booking and presenting multiple talks a year send letters at opportune times throughout the year. To carve out time in schools, it’s important to think about the school schedule. Start the conversation in the fall with a letter and by reaching out to the people we’ve listed above. In the early winter after the break, schools are likely planning the spring schedule. If you haven’t scheduled a talk yet, it’s a good idea to reach out again and get on the calendar for the spring. April is Distracted Driving Month, so schools and organizations may be more open to hosting a talk during this time. It’s also a popular topic to feature around prom.
Not a Speaker by Nature? There are Many Other Options
Naturally, not everyone is a fan of speaking to an auditorium full of people. There are multiple other ways to join the movement to fight the distracted driving epidemic in our country. You can, for example, host a presentation in your community and find a volunteer speaker to present to the audience. You can raise awareness through other forms, too, such as essay competitions or fundraisers. Below are a few other ways to join the cause and spread the word:
- Donate to EndDD.org
- Email and connect with Founder Joel Feldman to find out about upcoming local EndDD.org events or learn how to get one started.
- Like EndDD.org on Facebook and share the message on social media.
Think about the impact this organization would have on communities and our country if we could all join forces to wipe out distracted driving. Consider helping the cause today.
About John Bair
John Bair is an experienced settlement planner and financial consultant with a passion for ending distracted driving. As a frequent EndDD.org volunteer, he has spoken to audiences around the country. To assist others in raising awareness, John has written numerous guides and articles about giving successful EndDD.org presentations in schools, business, and community settings. He is a proud board member of the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation. For more information, visit http://www.enddd.org/.
A West Point graduate where he served as captain and military aviator, John Bair continues his commitment to our country through his efforts within the settlement planning industry. He has represented families of victims lost in the Flight 3407 crash, offered pro bono services to the families of 9/11 victims and drafted the first consumer protection bill for plaintiffs (H.R. 3699).