Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mascots and Costume for your Public Education Program


Educating the public on programs such as poison control and 9-1-1 services is a very important necessity to the community. Why not make it more fun and memorable by including a mascot (costume) in your public education program? Mascots not only make an impact on children, but adults and the media as well.

Regardless of what stage you might be at with your public education program, there is always room for improvement. There is no better time than now to jumpstart your outreach program by including a mascot as part of your program. Cell Phone Sally blog chatted with a few friends who had purchased a costume in the last few months and here is what they had to say.

Sally McGraw with Mid-America Regional Council in Missouri brought in their Cell Phone Sally costume for an appearance at their annual Telecommunicators Appreciation Celebration this past April.  Not only was she a big hit with everyone, but she also provided a great photo opportunity for honorees! Sally McGraw commented that children especially, are really drawn to mascots and this also calls attention to the presence of 9-1-1 outreach information at any event.

And she is not the only one who feels this way! In Tennessee, Angelia Koski of Montgomery County E911, said that the bright color of Cell Phone Sally’s costume always draws attention. She said the kids always love to hug her and practice dialing 9-1-1. Not only is Cell Phone Sally able to be a supportive mascot, but she is also able to be interactive with the kids by utilizing her cell phone buttons to teach kids how to dial 9-1-1!

Promoting your public education program can become easier with a mascot as well. Media outlets are more likely to cover events with mascots interacting with children, because it makes for great news coverage on television. Carly Collins with Permian Basin Regional Planning Commission, in Texas, said she has had nothing but positive reactions to the Cell Phone Sally Costume and that it has been a huge help to 9-1-1 education.

Carly further explained that cell phones are more popular than ever and people of all ages have them. This is why having a mascot that is a cell phone makes it easily relatable and very approachable. She said it is very important to have your mascot tie in to whatever you are promoting and we completely agree! Whether you choose to use Cell Phone Sally as your mascot or come up with your own public education mascot, it is sure to make an impact on your community and help educate the public in a more interactive and fun way. People love mascots and you can’t help but smile when you see them!

The links below highlight safety mascots being used in the country, from poison control to addressing fire safety – we need the presence of mascots to get our message across.

9-1-1/Fire Safety/Stranger Danger - www.billybadge.org
Fires Safety - www.smokeybear.com
Poison Control mascots/characters - www.upstate.edu/poison/kids/stopaskfirst.php
For more information on mascots and how we can help you, please email Robert.gonzalez@csec.texas.gov


2 comments:

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