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What's YOUR distraction?

That was the question asked of motorists last month as part of a joint motorway safety event that was, on the most part, pulled together by four different fire and rescue services.

The day-long initiative saw staff from Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire join up with their respective Police colleagues, as well as officers from Highways England, at six service stations up and down the East Midlands stretch of the M1.

More importantly though, it also saw staff from each of the Services’ communications teams come together for a co-ordinated media campaign that included a joint press release, a joint case study and matching branding – which was applied to social media banners and a range of printed materials that were used to support staff engagement on the day.

There was also a joint hashtag for the initiative, #WhatsYourDistraction, which was used to link up all of the social media activity that took place before, during and after the event.

“The evaluation of the initiative is still on-going, but between all of the agencies I think it would be fair to say we engaged with hundreds, if not thousands, of people on the ground alone,” said Jack Grasby, Communications Officer at Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service.

“We also collectively got coverage on BBC East Midlands Today, on our respective local radio stations and in our local papers. This is in addition to the vast amount of social media activity we did together.

“The best part, though, was the way in which we worked collaboratively. The M1 runs through all of our patches and, given that we all had the same focus (distraction), it made sense that we joined together.

“Having a joint press release and just one service taking care of the graphic design saved us all a great deal of time and effort – it also made our messages much stronger.”

- Jack Grasby is Communications Officer at Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue

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