Translating Open Water Drowning Prevention Guidelines Into Global Action Using Social Marketing

Dr. Linda Quan, Rebecca Wear Robinson, Elizabeth Bennett Presented at the World Conference on Drowning Prevention Potsdam 2013 Second Half of Presentation Prepared and Presented by Rebecca Wear Robinson 001-630-729-4291
Stop and look at something that virtually every person in every country understands. A red light means stop. The importance of consistent messages to communicate basic safety information can not be understated. In virtually every country in the world, a red light means stop and a green light means go. At it’s most basic interpretation, this shows the purpose of social marketing - harnessing market forces to change behavior for the public good - and illustrates the potential of the International Open Water Drowning Prevention Guidelines to be our red light for consistent open water safety messages. In this example the desired behavior is stopping at a red light to keep accidents from occurring, which is required for the health and safety of the public, aided by a natural desire for self-preservation. Yes, laws reinforce the behavior, but there are not police at every corner, laws are not enough. People stop when there is a red light because they understand the message, have internalized the message, and know it makes them safer to comply with the message the message has been effectively marketed. Consistent messaging is necessary to change any behavior. If you have a child, you will find yourself naturally repeating certain phrases over and over, with no variation on the words. “Look both ways before you cross the street”. The reason is instinctual, when you need to teach something important, consistent reinforcement is key. You need to follow up with the reasons, “if you don’t look both ways before you cross the street a car might hit you”, you may need to enforce the rule, “you can’t walk to school by yourself because you forgot to look both ways”, but you start with the primary message, “look

both ways before you cross the street”. You’ll even use the message in a range of contexts, “a red light means stop, don’t cross the street if there is a red light and then look both ways before you cross the street”. The basic message remains the same. Consistent messaging marketed to the public to change behavior for the public good. This is the potential of the International Open Water Drowning Prevention Guidelines. The principles of social marketing can make this happen and can also be applied to other drowning prevention initiatives like signage, beach flags, pool safety, and water safety communications at all levels. Today we will look at: • What has been done. • What is social marketing? • Developing your team and targets. • Doing the convincing. • Establishing a dialogue. • Adoption vs. implementation. • Weaknesses and Barriers. • How to Launch a Successful Campaign. Over a two year period after the Guidelines were developed, the original task force put significant effort into spreading the word about the Guidelines. They submitted the paper for publication with a number of high-profile journals, presented the paper at conferences, encouraged organizations to adopt the Guidelines, posted them on websites, arranged for them to be translated into 5 additional languages, and encouraged translation into literacy-neutral images. I invited myself to the party. I have been an outspoken advocate for developing consistent messages in the field of drowning prevention and I was excited when I first heard about the Guidelines at the 2012 World Conference on Drowning Prevention in Vietnam. Shortly after the conference, I decided to involve myself, uninvited, in the process of spreading the word about the existence of the Guidelines and encouraging organizations to adopt the Guidelines. At the beginning of the process, I did exactly what the task force members had done, I looked at my database and started contacting organizations via e-mail. I explained what the Guidelines were, how they had been developed, and why it was so critical that organizations begin adopting consistent language and implementing that language into their communications with the public. Mine was a well-meaning but largely ineffective effort. That changed thanks to some excellent questions from one of the organizations which set us on a more effective track, although one that needs far more work. I started applying the principles of social

marketing to the effort - an approach which creates a framework for how we need to approach translating any number of initiatives in drowning prevention into action. What is social marketing? As defined by Jeff French and Clive Blair-Stevens, social marketing is “the systematic application of marketing, alongside other concepts and techniques, to achieve specific behavioral goals, for a social good.” (French and Blair-Stevens, 2007) More simply put, social marketing is harnessing market forces to change behavior for the public good. Let’s break that down. Social marketing incorporates: - Social good; - Behavior; and - Harnessing the power of marketing (in all its forms). The first two concepts are fairly simple. We all agree that it would be in the social good if drowning is reduced - lower mortality rates, lower injury rates, lower costs to society. We probably agree that if people change their behavior and act responsibly and safely around water their chance of drowning would be reduced. What may not be so obvious is how marketing can bring about that change in behavior for the social good. Let’s break it down further. Philip Kotler, the guru of marketing and author of “Marketing Management” stated that, “Marketing is the set of human activities directed at facilitating and consummating exchanges.” (Kotler, 1967) Marketing allows us to live within society. The way that we have been conditioned to think about marketing can mean a purely commercial exchange of money for services or products. But marketing is not limited to commercial transactions. When you talk with colleagues in the drowning prevention community, attend a conference, or engage via social media, you are marketing. You are facilitating and consummating an exchange - a recognition of your efforts, forming a connection of resources and intent - you are confirming a sense of shared purpose to end drowning. When you discuss a new set of guidelines, unveil a new product or program, introducing

new signage, or rally support for legislation, you are marketing, all within the realm of drowning prevention. Social marketing is used to ensure that ideas that are meant to change behavior for the social good aren’t just adopted but are actually implemented and result in a lasting change in behavior in the target audience. In our discussion today we have two target audiences whose behavior we want to change. First is organizations around the world. We want them to adopt and implement the Guidelines into their communication strategies. Second is our ultimate audience for the Guidelines, the public. I will be concentrating primarily on our efforts to engage organizations with only a few references to how the Guidelines can be used to engage our ultimate target, the public, as that is a different discussion and strategy. Let’s look at how we used aspects of social marketing effectively to translate the Guidelines into global action, and what we could have done better. First step - assemble the right team. The ideal team will include people who possess the following: • Influence - geographically appropriate and preferably at high levels within the areas you are seeking buy-in; • Expertise in the issue being promoted - for credibility and as a resource for technical questions; • Strong communication and diplomacy skills - the ability to persuade; • Ability to coordinate the effort, track progress and redirect efforts when required. The original task force had a strong balanced team representing a range of organizations from 12 countries on 6 continents. This global reach added strong credibility to the resulting Guidelines as being truly ‘international’. The task force included experts in the field, all of whom are widely respected by their peers, and a member who also has extensive experience in implementing public health and safety programs who coordinated and tracked the efforts. I was, as I said, the uninvited guest, but I brought additional social marketing skills to the table. Once you have your team, assemble your contact list. Start with a brain dump of ‘who do you know’ and then begin to rank the contacts. Rank the level of influence for each contact. Does this individual/organization have the ability to influence other individuals or organizations? Are they perceived as leaders? As influencers? Are they resistant to change or to outside influence? Then rank the strength of each contact (high - I run this organization vs. low - I recognize the name but we’ve never worked together).

Once you have the rankings in place, prioritize the contacts. Start with the easy targets - in the case of the task force, the organizations that each member represented. Next, identify the most influential contact where you also have the strongest personal connection. Dr. Quan, the task force leader, did this by immediately approaching powerful influencers where she has strong connections - organizations like the American Red Cross, the Center for Disease Control, International Lifesaving Federation, Child Safety Europe, and European Child Safety Alliance. Once you have a couple of big names on board, or if you are having trouble getting those first few big names, look at using a range of strategies to get more wide-spread buy-in of your initiative as you work through your contact list. The strategies we used included: Influence, Peer Pressure and the One-Two Punch. Influence. The task force was very successful in using their influence to get the first tier of organizations on board in adopting the Guidelines. This is the most critical step establishing a base of the ‘believers’ and ‘influencers’ that you can use to convince the ‘non-believers’ or the ‘skeptics’. In some cases, key influencers from these organizations took the initiative to reach out to media and other organizations to spread the word - an ideal situation, but one that did not happen often enough and did not have widespread support. When I started working with Linda and Tizzy, we were able to build on the base of key organizations and use peer pressure and the one-two punch to attract more organizations. This is where diplomatic skills come into play. Peer pressure. There are leaders and followers. There are people and organizations that think they lead but are actually late-adopters - they wait to see if something is working before they are on board. What you want to do is identify the true leaders, those who consistently influence others and then use those names to apply subtle peer pressure - to let other organizations know that this is the way of the future - better get on the train before it completely leaves the station and you are looking out-dated and outof-touch, all while making them feel like they are being proactive and ahead-of-thecurve. One-Two Punch. The one-two punch is also very effective. No actual violence involved. It refers to leveraging skills and players to get the best result. The ‘one’ (the hook) sets the stage, explains the history and the reason for the change, and lists the players (to demonstrate influence and invoke peer pressure). The ‘two’ (the upper-cut) is the person with the gravitas and the expertise to speak ‘peer-to-peer’ with the decision maker. In our case, I would lay the groundwork (the ‘one’) and if there was resistance or no response, Linda, a medical doctor and an established researcher renowned in the

drowning prevention field, would follow up with a one-on-one conversation with the decision-maker (the ‘two’). Remember, people are more likely to listen to a peer or a person that they respect and acknowledge as a leader in the field. In order to protect that reputation you need to use the leader in a targeted and appropriate manner. Use high-level diplomacy as your model. The Secretary General of the United Nations does not speak at town meetings (unless it’s a very intentional gesture), the experts in conducting town meetings, in spreading information and motivating the public handle that role (one). The Secretary General comes in to close the deal (two). All three approaches - influence, peer pressure and the one-two punch - are most successful if you have established a dialogue and don’t just ride in and announce ‘this is the change - deal with it’. No one likes to be told what to do, they want to be convinced, to be wooed. Establishing a dialogue is critical in increasing understanding, addressing concerns, and in adapting your approach to get the best results. After all, the best ideas rarely survive real-world implementation without some alteration. If you want your program to be successful, you need to listen, not just talk. Given that my approach was through a list of contacts where I did not always have strong connections, I opted to address basic issues up-front and then respond to specific questions. To increase understanding, the initial e-mail (available at the end of this paper) included the following components: • What are the Guidelines? Establish their legitimacy - they were developed by an international task force, presented at the 2012 World Conference, and are being published in the Drowning Prevention Handbook. • State the goal. We were asking organizations to adopt the Guidelines so that there are more consistent messaging and communication efforts globally on the issue of open water safety. • Ask ‘Will you adopt the Guidelines?” Let them know why you are contacting them and what action is required on their part. • List the Guidelines. Describe what you want them to adopt. • Provide a list of names of organizations that have already adopted the Guidelines (peer pressure). • Offer the option to discuss any concerns or questions with members of the task force (one-two punch). • Ask for a response, again. • Provide Q&A for commonly asked questions. It must be noted that the Q&A resulted from establishing a dialogue which demonstrated that there was confusion about what the Guidelines could accomplish and how this

might look to an organization. A very savvy contact at one organization understood the internal political structure and asked some excellent questions that he knew would make it more likely for the decision-makers to consider adopting the Guidelines - issues like ‘What are the legal ramifications? What’s in it for us? What would adoption look like? How would this work?’ My initial response, and Linda’s skillful interjection of authority, resulted in a long and ultimately successful dialogue with decision-makers in the organization which really changed how we were approaching organizations and made it clear that using social marketing would not only help improve the chances of organizations adopting the Guidelines, but would dramatically increase the effectiveness of the Guidelines through more effective implementation. It helped us demonstrate how it would look being translated from academic theory to educate-the-public reality. It encouraged us describe how organizations could market the Guidelines to the public to change behavior for the social good, because adopting is good, but implementing is even better. Implementing is more powerful than just adopting. Adopting can mean a rubber-stamp on a document, stick it in a file and forget about it. Or put it on a web-site but never do anything with it. Adoption is a great start, but for any initiative to be successful, it needs to be actively implemented and promoted. More difficult still, the only true mark of success is if your target audience internalizes the desired change and their behavior changes permanently, without constant prompting and reminding. In our efforts, our immediate goal was to get organizations to understand the importance of the Guidelines and agree to incorporate them into their work. In order to do this, we needed to explain to them how the Guidelines could, in turn, help them reach their target audience, while recognizing that real-world implementation can look different from the original intent. The next step is to use the Guidelines to educate the public, for which we gave ideas but no formal framework. This would require developing a separate social market strategy. The task force is collecting feedback on the Guidelines, including real-life implementation difficulties, which will need to be compiled, analyzed, and recommunicated. For example, one of the clear limitations to the Guidelines is the fact that they require language competency. The target audience must understand the words and their meaning and change their behavior in the desired manner for the Guidelines to be effective. In large parts of the world the words posed a problem. The challenge is real-world adaptation while maintaining continuity in messaging. The Kenya Lifesaving Federation implemented the Guidelines into a poster with photographs that depicted Kenyans in typical situations where they might want to rescue someone. (at the end of this paper)

Tom Mecrow and a UK-based group are creating flash cards with illustrations for use in East Africa. They are working with local partners in Tanzania and Uganda to make sure they are suitable for the local environment. An excellent example of adapting a standard for low-resource environments. They have further broken the Guidelines into 3 sections ‘Spot the Dangers, Keep Yourself Safe, Keep Others Safe’ for ease of communication, but the words and the meanings are consistent. Ideally Tom’s group will measure the effectiveness of the illustrations for accurate comprehension and share the results with the task force to be included in another round of update communication so that others can adopt the proven adaptation of the Guidelines. Communicating without language barriers also has it’s challenges. One of the most common questions was ‘do we use all the Guidelines at once?‘ Emphatically NO. There are too many of them and not all of the Guidelines are appropriate at all times. Know your audience, plan a campaign around one or two of the Guidelines (three is the maximum number of things people can remember in any campaign), but always use them verbatim. No playing with the words, no being creative. The goal is to embed the basic message into the public’s brain. Remember red light/green light and the constant repetition of “look both ways before you cross the street”, so when you have a campaign about lifeguards you want to always say “swim in areas with lifeguards”, when you have a campaign to educate the public about safety signs and warning flags you always say, “Obey all safety signs and warning flags”. No playing with the words, no moving them around, no creative writing. Once you’ve set the scene and reinforced the underlying message, expand on the message. If your message is “Swim in areas with lifeguards”, explain the role of a lifeguard, which public beaches have lifeguards, how you can tell the range of a lifeguard’s observation, the hours the lifeguard is on duty, and more. For “obey all safety signs and warning flags”, once you have their attention with the commonly used “obey all safety signs and warning flags”, you can explain what safety signs and warning flags would typically be posted, where they would be posted, and the meanings of the signs and flags. Both are separate and complex campaigns, but they tie back to the consistent message from the Guidelines “swim in areas with lifeguards” and “obey all safety signs and warning flags”. Back to my initial example of red light/green light and “look both ways before you cross the street”, the greatest strength of the Guidelines is the potential for consistent global messaging of basic safety information. We don't say “look both ways before you cross the street” once and hope the lesson sinks in, or put up a traffic light and hope people figure it out, we do it thousands of times, using the exact same words and symbols, until we see the desired behavior consistently and without prompting so we know it is internalized. The same needs to occur with the Guidelines - for them to have their desired effect we must translate the words, and the meanings, into internalized behavioral change.

Weaknesses with the Guidelines are continually being identified and addressed, but they represent a solid start towards consistent global messaging on open water safety. As to our approach in spreading the word about the Guidelines, in terms of a social marketing campaign this had a lot of room for improvement. • The initial campaign by the task force members relied on a strategy of ‘just ask’ without a more detailed explanation of how implementation might look. • Once I became involved, the campaign went off my personal contact list, rather than a carefully vetted list that ranked the most influential organizations globally and identified the decision-maker or best contact within those organizations. • Follow-up within 2 weeks to engage in conversation and explore why organizations were unwilling to participate and then address those concerns did not occur. • A regular program of highlighting organizations that adopted and implemented the Guidelines should have occurred, utilizing social media and traditional media to identify the success stories and provide an incentive for other organizations. • The Guidelines should be clearly accessible online, preferably in a stand-alone web-site. Ideally there would be a stand-alone website that is funded by a number of organizations with intentional links, tags and key words between the main website and each of the contributors to increase the SEO (search engine optimization) for the Guidelines and all of the organizations that implement the guidelines. Currently they are buried as a .pdf on the Seattle Children’s website. • The initial efforts should have included the step-by-step road map to follow so that organizations had a better understanding of the need for consistent messaging and how to integrate it into existing programs. Examples of how creativity, humor, cultural and geographic considerations could be incorporated into the campaign could have been provided, while reinforcing the need for consistency with the the basic words or related symbols. • I didn’t have the influence in the drowning prevention field to have gotten a better hit rate. Although these were all direct contacts, there still was massive confusion about my role in the field. It is entirely possible that my involvement actually discouraged some organizations from adopting the Guidelines. • This was done in my spare time rather than in a more formal structure - it needed more discipline and better follow-up. • It is also critical to remember, you need to ask people to help you or to assign them a task. Sometimes a key organization is unwilling to do anything beyond the most basic, but it is always important to ask “Will you put the guidelines on your website? Will you mention the guidelines in press releases and interviews with the media? Would you be willing to talk to your counterparts at other organizations and ask them to adopt the guidelines? Can you introduce me to anyone at another of our targeted organizations?” Provide people with a way of helping and supporting the effort, and then recognize their contribution publicly and privately.

Despite the weaknesses in the approach, a significant number of influential organizations around the world have already agreed to adopt and implement the Guidelines, a number which could easily be increased with a more disciplined campaign. Most importantly, the willingness of organizations to embrace consistent messages and work together means there is enormous potential for us to create effective campaigns that change behavior and raise awareness.

How to Launch A Successful Campaign
Let’s look at what you need to do to launch a successful campaign - whether for the Guidelines or for other global drowning prevention measures such as signage, beach flags or any education and awareness campaign. • Organization - What is your goal? Who is the target audience? What organizations or individuals are in the best position to reach and influence the target audience? Brainstorm to develop a contact list and rank according to influence - either globally or by country. Identify influential contacts within those organizations, find out who has a connection with that contact and determine the best way of making contact and persuading the contact to make the necessary change. • Agreement - Decide on an overall strategy and designate one person to coordinate and monitor progress. Maintaining a spreadsheet online that can be viewed by all but updated only by the coordinator helps keep people motivated and accountable. Identify who has the authority to determine when peer pressure or the one-two punch is appropriate and assign the best team. Develop protocols for measuring success up front - not just adoption but looking at how and where the Guidelines are incorporated into messaging and measuring if they are successful in changing behavior. • Commitment - Establish accountability for follow-through on assigned task by all members. • Promote - Utilize social media and traditional media to aggressively promote the initiative.

• Look into establishing a neutral web-site for important initiatives (e.g. or and then linking heavily to all organizations that are participating in the initiative and including them as sponsors on the neutral site to improve the SEO (search engine optimization) for all involved. Look into getting a Google grant for keywords. • Establish an initiative-specific presence on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as a way of reinforcing the change, attracting public and traditional media attention and providing support for organizations that have implemented the initiative. • Develop a public relations and media strategy and hire or solicit pro-bono help from professionals in the fields to execute the strategy. • Identify and engage community influencers (mommy bloggers, local heroes, individuals with influence). • Follow up - Circle back to those organizations that have adopted the Guidelines and let them know what a difference their adoption made by telling them what other organizations signed on based on their influence. Seek out and provide stories of how the Guidelines are being used in real-life situations and actively promote those stories, with links to the organizations through the central web-site. Show how the Guidelines have been incorporated, share success stories, use photos, generate excitement through a comprehensive communication strategy. • Support - Identify problems, barriers, challenges and develop strategies for overcoming these issues and institute damage control where necessary, for instance if an organization is mis-using the resource or communicating in a way that damages or diminishes the effectiveness of the initiative. • Take It To The Next Level - Inspire people and organizations about the potential for being involved in positive change. Research shows that if people are positively motivated to change, shown how to make the change, and supported while they implement the change - change will not just occur, but will be internalized and selfsustaining. • Measure Results - Assess the effectiveness of having the Guidelines in place through a follow-up with adoptive organizations - gather feedback, measure results and revise the process as necessary. Ask yourself, what is the main message we are trying to communicate, and then look at how it can be communicated more effectively using principles of social marketing. If we are all pulling in the same direction, we can change how people behave around water.

Sample Guidelines Marketing E-mail with Q&A: Dear XYZ, As you may be aware, International Open Water Safety Guidelines were developed and published by an International Task Force recently. I am following up with a number of organizations, encouraging them to adopt and promote the guidelines. The goal is consistent messaging related to open water safety across a range of organizations, media, and countries to raise awareness about the importance of water safety and to reinforce consistent safety messages. Would your organization be willing to adopt the Guidelines and incorporate them into their communication and educational materials? I am pleased to announce that, to date, organizations as diverse and esteemed as the American Academy of Pediatrics, Royal Life Saving Australia, International Federation of Swim Teachers Association, the U.S. National Park System and USA Swimming have

implemented the Guidelines into their communications. I believe such consistency in effort by such high profile and well-respected organizations is key to raising awareness and changing behavior around water. For your information I have attached a number of documents: • International Open Water Safety Guidelines and the link to the research behind their development; • A list of organizations that have adopted the Guidelines, or are encouraging adoption by their members; • A copy of the U.S. National Park Service Newsletter that introduced the Guidelines; and • Q&A of commonly asked questions and concerns that we have encountered regarding adoption of, and implementation of, the Guidelines. We need your commitment if we are going to achieve our goal of consistent messaging to actually change behavior around water. Will you agree to adopt and implement the Guidelines? I would be happy to answer any other questions you may have regarding the Guidelines. My phone number is 630-729-4291 and my e-mail address is Alternatively, you may contact Dr. Linda Quan or Tizzy Bennett, who headed up the Task Force, for further clarification. They can be reached via e-mail at (deleted to preserve privacy in public forum). Warm regards, Rebecca Wear Robinson International Open Water Safety Guidelines Care of Self • Learn swimming and water survival skills. • Always swim with others. • Obey all safety signs and warning flags. • Never go in the water after drinking alcohol. • Know how and when to use a life jacket. • Swim in areas with a lifeguard. • Know the weather and water conditions before getting in the water. • Always enter shallow and unknown water feet first. Care of Others • Help and encourage others, especially children, to learn swimming and water safety survival skills. • Swim in areas with lifeguards.

• Set water safety rules. • Always provide close and constant attention to children you are supervising in or near water. • Know how and when to use a life jacket, especially with children and weak swimmers. • Learn first aid and CPR. • Learn safe ways of rescuing others without putting yourself in danger. • Obey all safety signs and warning flags. Information behind the research and the Task Force members can be found at: Organizations Adopting Guidelines The following organizations have adopted the guidelines (in order of confirmation): Seattle Children’s Hospital, State of Washington (US), NDPA, STA, IFSTA, Aquatic Educations, Kenya Life Saving Foundation, Netherlands (swim teacher manuals), Safely Living web-site, Switzerland SLG, The Life Saving Foundation (Ireland), Joshua Collingsworth Foundation, Water Safe Auckland, New Zealand Water Safety Code, SOBRASA, Royal Life Saving Society Australia, Swimming Pool Safety Company, American Academy of Pediatrics (who will be promoting them heavily on their web-site and in media events), Singapore Sports Council. The Risk Management area of the U.S. National Parks is also encouraging each park to adopt the Guidelines. An example of how they introduced the Guidelines to their member parks is in the attached newsletter. AUSTSWIM (The Australasian Council of Teachers of Swimming and Water Safety. USA Swimming and USA Swimming Foundation will be providing the Guidelines to over 550 Swim for Life member sites for their education and communication efforts. Q&A Re: International Open Water Safety Guidelines In the course of conversations with many of these organizations it became clear that there was confusion about what adopting the guidelines meant and how they could be implemented. The following, lengthy, Q & A is taken from actual discussions, but, again, please feel free to contact me directly at if you have any questions or concerns that are not addressed here, or you can contact Dr. Linda Quan or Tizzy Bennett who spear-headed the task force. (e-mail address deleted to preserve privacy) Q: Are the guidelines published anywhere? A: Yes, they will appear in the upcoming Drowning Prevention Handbook. Q: What is the purpose of having internationally recognized guidelines?

A: The intention of having the guidelines adopted, verbatim (only with appropriate adjustments in other languages), is to minimize the confusion in the general public with the wide range of water safety messages currently. Historically, virtually every organization dealing with water safety and drowning prevention has developed distinctly individual messages, although with almost complete overlap in the content. There appears to be broad agreement on what the messages need to be, but no agreement on how the messages should be stated. The more the public has to sift through the different messages, the less likely they will assimilate the messages and change their behavior accordingly. Imagine if every county adopted a different sign and word for 'Stop' as a standard road sign - there would be utter chaos and a sharp spike in traffic fatalities. We are working towards the same consistency with water safety education. The guidelines are short, concise and directive. Taken as a bundle of 16 they would be overwhelming to anyone, but using the messages for educational efforts, web-sites and signs at recreation facilities with the same words that people see wherever there is water and recreation facilities will continually reinforce the message. I'd be happy to talk more about how the messages can be bundled and communicated, or 'marketed', effectively if it would be helpful. Q: Is there any external process required to adopt the guidelines? A: It is simply a matter of declaring them adopted, with the follow-up of agreeing to use them in future communications materials. I am fully cognizant of the fact that existing signs can not just be replaced at huge cost, but a phase-in of physical signs and immediate change in social media/printed materials should be fairly easily accomplished. The task force was academically rigorous in their development of the standards in order to ensure that adoption by organizations did not require additional external assessment. Q: Are there any legal or administrative ramifications to adopting the guidelines? A: There is no legal (attribution of intellectual property, or right to use) or administrative requirement or expectation required to adopt the standards beyond requesting that, again, the words be used verbatim to ensure the message is consistent both within the U.S. and globally. The primary goal is to discourage creativity with the actual words, though not how the words are communicated to the public. Ideally I would like to see consistent standards in signage and placement (just as with the Stop sign), but the first step needs to be in the messaging. Q: Do we need to use all 16 guidelines in all of our communications?

A: No. The sheer number would be overwhelming to the public. It is important to use the exact words where appropriate. For instance, always use the words ‘Swim in areas with a lifeguard’. rather than ‘swim near a lifeguard’, ‘swim near guarded beaches’, ‘lifeguards are there for your safety’, etc. Consistency in communication is key so the public internalizes the message, ‘Swim in areas with a lifeguard.’ Obviously some areas do not have lifeguards so that message would be confusing and frustrating in that context. Q: Are all the guidelines relevant to every area? A: No. But it’s a start. For instance, there is no global consistency with safety signs and warning flags. The vast majority of water is unguarded. Many people can not afford a life jacket. The intention of the guidelines is to state clearly what is required to be safe in and around water. We are setting ‘best practice’, which that as the guidelines are widely adopted, policy, budgeting, and public communication decisions will increasingly be made based on the guidelines. Q: Should we communicate the guidelines in the same way to aquatics/safety professionals and the public? A: There does need to be some adjustment in what we communicate to the public in terms of quantity and how the messages are communicated, but consistency in the messaging is key. I'm going to stick with saying that when we communicate with professionals in the field we stick to all 16 guidelines verbatim. It's kind of like teaching people math. Unless they learn the numbers and basic numeric functions (addition/subtraction) first, there is no way anyone can figure out calculus. In fact, unless you have memorized the basics to the point that they become internalized actions/reactions, taking it to the next level of educating others (the public) will never happen effectively. I would argue that if we start with 'swim in areas with a lifeguard' and reinforce that message with the professionals, they will begin to consistently educate the public, almost reflexively, when asked where to swim, they will answer, 'swim in areas with a lifeguard. Here are the beaches we would suggest....' It sounds almost too obvious, but I'm guessing that without that indoctrination into the standards even the most diligent professional might respond to a question, 'can we swim at this beach?' with a 'well, it's not guarded, but....' instead of 'swim in areas with a lifeguard - here are the beaches that have a guard'. It's the difference between a recognized and respected official authority figure saying 'this is what to do' and just offering an opinion/suggestion and it's all in the phrasing, which is why verbatim communication of the standards is so important. That is not to say that people won't go off to the 'stunning and isolated private beach' in the guide book and get into trouble (which the Hawaiian lifeguards have been dealing with for years), but you are still, over time, going to get more and

more people internalizing the command 'swim in areas with a lifeguard' until their decision process is cut down to 'rebel or comply' instead of the enormous decision tree of 'which beach'. Q: People never listen to the signs and warnings, they don’t do what they are told - why bother with uniform messages? A: We need to take human nature into account. People like to swim in pristine lakes and on beautiful beaches. Children (especially toddlers) wander off or hide. The rules need to be clear, but the explanation of how to comply needs to be nuanced. 'Look both ways when you cross the street'. That's pretty much all anyone needs to know. But....when you visit London best look right, left and then right again because traffic is coming at you from an unfamiliar direction. Probably never a good idea to ever cross a major expressway at rush hour, not matter how many times you look both ways. But even if you attempted either of those feats, if you don't start with the basic rule, look both ways, you're road kill. Having rules, verbatim, consistently, does provide the benchmark against which behavior can be reasonably altered based on educated experience. We start by educating at the basic level, just as you would a very young child, then you can expand on the details through age and experience-appropriate education. For instance, there is no lifeguard at a lake house, but if the idea that you need someone guarding you when you swim becomes internalized, one person will be assigned ‘Water Watcher’ position. I'm sticking with we set the rules first - then we work on the nuances to fit different situations.

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