As part of a U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Outreach Grant, the Water Sports Foundation (WSF) has just completed the first phase and launch of its new “National Boating Safety Media Center,” which is designed to facilitate and support the work of journalists assigned to cover boating safety topics.
Housed within a dedicated section on the Water Sports Foundation’s new website (www.watersportsfoundation.com/media/), the media center features nearly 300 pieces of content covering 54 categories, a robust image library containing 565 high resolution, royalty-free photos, 77 videos, press materials, blogs and social media content, graphics, statistical data and more regarding national boating safety and educational programs.
“Our primary goal was to create a convenient, one-stop shop for journalists that provides instant access to credible resources, materials and data pertaining to boating safety,” said Water Sports Foundation Executive Director Jim Emmons. “Our new site is full of outstanding content provided by our association and dozens of boating safety stakeholders. We’re excited by the quality and quantity of materials available and are excited to partner with our industry colleagues to actively promote boating safety.”
Said Verne Gifford, Chief of the Division of Boating Safety for the U.S. Coast Guard, “With the recent surge in the number of boaters in America, the entire recreational boating safety community, including the Coast Guard, is looking for this project to elevate boating safety awareness. We couldn’t be more excited about the possibility that America's national media will be placing more emphasis on consumer boating safety content at time when we need it the most.”
A team of veteran marine journalists and publicists contributed to site development and design.
“Our team conducted a comprehensive search of available boating safety content to see how easy it was for journalists to access relevant and current data and information,” said WSF Communications Director Wanda Kenton Smith, a national marketing columnist and former consumer magazine editor. “We realized quickly that while there is a plethora of content out there, it was not well organized or easy to find. Recognizing the deadline constraints many journalists face, we designed and built our media center for working journalists to expedite and simplify the process.
“We strategically threw out a wide net and invited all segments of the recreational boating industry to submit appropriate content for this site,” she added. “Dozens of industry stakeholders provided materials, and we are so pleased by the positive response to date. Next on the agenda is a national media outreach campaign to promote a variety of boating safety messages, with the new website serving as the cornerstone of this exciting effort.”
Added Jeff Moag, former editor of Canoe & Kayak magazine and current WSF content director, “The new National Boating Safety Media Center is the most comprehensive online resource for journalists covering the full spectrum of stories relating to boating safety, from breaking news to lifestyle features and in-depth trend stories. Reporters and producers will appreciate the quality of materials available, along with the list of expert sources who can articulate the finer and the broader points of boating safety.”